Political News

The Latest: Cousin 'bewildered' by Trump accuser's account

Posted October 14

— The Latest on the U.S. presidential race (all times EDT):

11:15 p.m.

Donald Trump's campaign says the cousin of one of the women who has accused him of an unwanted sexual advance is "shocked and bewildered" by her account.

In a statement from Trump's campaign, John Barry of Mission Viejo, California, says Summer Zervos "wishes she could still be on reality TV, and in an effort to get that back she's saying all of these negative things about Mr. Trump."

Earlier Friday, Zervos said at a news conference in Los Angeles that Trump kissed her and touched her breasts in a private room at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2007.

Zervos was a contestant on Trump's reality TV show, "The Apprentice." Barry says Zervos often praised Trump after appearing on the show.

Berry says Zervos invited Trump to visit her restaurant earlier this year, and the Republican declined. Berry says, "Summer's actions today are nothing more than an attempt to regain the spotlight at Mr. Trump's expense."


8:50 p.m.

Donald Trump is suggesting a boycott of the next issue of People Magazine after it published a story by a writer who claims Trump forcibly kissed her during an interview break.

It's one of a handful of allegations of groping and assault that have emerged against Trump in recent days.

Trump insists the allegations are "100 percent false" and says he's the victim of "one of the great political smear campaigns in the history of our country."

He says that when someone has met thousands of people, "it's not hard to find a small handful of people willing to make false smears for personal fame" or perhaps financial or political gains.

He is telling a crowd in Charlotte, North Carolina, "you would be very impressed, actually, with my life in so many regards, including that regard."


8:40 p.m.

Tim Kaine is taking a break from the campaign trail to attend his 40th high school reunion in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Democratic vice presidential nominee is watching a Rockhurst High School football game with fellow members of the class of 1976. Walking onto the field, Kaine said it "feels great" to see old friends.

Kaine's lighthearted homecoming marks a stark departure from the dark turn the presidential contest has taken in recent days. Multiple women are now accusing Republican nominee Donald Trump of making unwanted sexual advances. In response, Trump is alleging the media and Hillary Clinton are engaging in a conspiracy to silence ordinary Americans.

Kaine did not address the latest developments Friday. He also attended a Dallas fundraiser earlier in the day.


8:30 p.m.

Days after saying his shackles were off, Donald Trump is dramatically disassembling his teleprompters after a technical malfunction.

Trump was speaking to a rally crowd in Charlotte, North Carolina, when he mentioned the devices that he'd shunned during the primaries hadn't been running for the prior 20 minutes.

When Trump tried to move one of the devices out of the way, the screen fell off the stand.

"Hey get this thing out of here, will you?" he said. "I like it much better without the teleprompters."

He later approached the other device and played around with the glass for a second before placing in on the floor.

Trump says he won't pay for the broken devices — and will get a discount on the sound after a speaker malfunctioned.

"Whoever runs this place is not doing very well," he jokes.


8:20 p.m.

Donald Trump is trying to demonstrate his strength with women in the face of new allegations of sexual assault.

Trump is kicking off a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, by showing off members of his "Women for Trump" coalition.

They include his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, who appeared onstage, clad in hot pink, along with two women who appeared on his "The Apprentice" reality show and performed a call-and-response cheer.

Trump also met with a group of local faith leaders ahead of his rally.

The efforts come as yet more women have come forward claiming that Trump inappropriately groped or assaulted them years ago. Trump has dismissed the allegations as smears and lies.


7:40 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says at a surprise stop in Seattle that the election has been "incredibly painful" but the country is going to "have to keep working together" after Election Day.

Clinton says at a campaign office that she takes "absolutely no satisfaction" in what is happening with rival Donald Trump. She says it "sends a terrible message to so many people here at home and around the world."

Clinton was joined by Gov. Jay Inslee and Sen. Patty Murray at the campaign office.

She says Democrats need a "big, big vote" in Washington state, both in person and by mail.

She says voters shouldn't be discouraged from voting on Election Day "if they start seeing returns coming in from the East Coast."


6:15 p.m.

Donald Trump denies he was ever alone in a hotel room with a former contestant from his reality show who has accused him of aggressive, unwanted sexual advances.

The Republican presidential nominee says in a written statement Friday he has only a vague recollection of Summer Zervos. The 41-year-old Zervos has accused Trump of accosting her in a Beverly Hills hotel room in 2007.

Trump says he never acted inappropriately toward Zervos, who competed on "The Apprentice."

In his statement, Trump lashes out at the media for creating "a theater of absurdity that threatens to tear our democratic process apart and poison the minds of the American public."

Trump has denied a series of allegations of sexual misconduct that have arisen in the past week, calling his accusers liars.


6:10 p.m.

President Barack Obama is tweeting the link to a website aimed at stopping sexual assault as more women have come forward with allegations of unwanted sexual advances by Donald Trump.

Obama on Friday tweeted a link to the "It's on Us" site, where people can sign a pledge to fight sexual assault and get information about the importance of obtaining consent.

Obama doesn't mention Trump in the tweet. But he says: "Clearly, we still have more to do to prevent sexual assault and the thinking that leads to it. That starts with us."


5:20 p.m.

Donald Trump has had a private audience with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, New York's Catholic archbishop.

The cardinal's spokesman, Joseph Zwilling, says Dolan met with Trump Friday morning at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan.

Zwilling says Trump requested the meeting several weeks ago. He says it is Dolan's practice to meet with anyone who asks, including politicians seeking elected office.

Zwilling says the topics discussed would remain private. A Trump spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump is slated to appear with Dolan again, this time alongside opponent Hillary Clinton, next week at the annual Al Smith charity dinner.


5:10 p.m.

A protester at a Donald Trump rally was placed in a headlock by a Trump supporter after displaying an upside-down American flag.

Trump was speaking at a rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, when the protester held up the flag. It was unclear what he was protesting, but Trump quickly took notice, instructing security to get him out.

Video taken shortly after that shows the supporter forcefully pushing the protester up the aisle and putting him in a headlock.

Police quickly intervened.

The supporter received high-fives from other Trump fans as he returned to his seat. He was later seen being escorted out of the venue.


5:05 p.m.

Hillary Clinton is trying to strike a chord of unity at the end of a negative campaign against rival Donald Trump.

Clinton is telling supporters in Seattle that it's important for her campaign to win the election to demonstrate a "positive" and "unifying vision of America that I believe in."

The Democratic presidential says that message will help show the country that "America's best days are still ahead of us."

Clinton says there's a lot about the election that is "dispiriting" and "unsettling." She says she takes no satisfaction in seeing what Trump does because "it hurts me and it hurts our country."

Clinton was speaking at a large fundraiser in Washington state that also featured hip-hop duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.


3:30 p.m.

Donald Trump is warning President Barack Obama that women could wrongly accuse him of sexual assault, as he claims has happened to him.

Several women have come forward in recent days accusing the Republican presidential nominee of groping them or kissing them without permission.

Trump has tried to discredit the women, mocking their appearances and accounts.

But Trump said at a rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, that those women "could say it about anybody."

And he says the president of the United States "better be careful" because women could say the same thing about him.


3:25 p.m.

A former contestant on "The Apprentice" says Donald Trump made unwanted sexual contact with her at a Beverly Hills hotel in 2007.

Summer Zervos appeared at a news conference Friday with attorney Gloria Allred. Zervos is among several women who have made sexual allegations against the Republican nominee. He has strenuously denied them.

Zervos was a contestant on Trump's show in 2006. She said she later contacted Trump sbout a job.

Zervos said after their initial meeting, Trump kissed her on the lips and asked for her phone number.

She said weeks later, Trump invited her to meet him at a hotel. Zervos says during that meeting, Trump became sexually aggressive, kissing her open-mouthed and touching her breasts.

Zervos says she rejected Trump's advances and he began talking as if it were a job interview. She said she was offered a low-paying job at a Trump-owned golf course.

Allred says her client told her parents and others about the incident shortly after it occurred.


3:10 p.m.

Donald Trump is accusing a "sick media" of trying to take down his presidential campaign in cahoots with rival Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Speaking at a rally Friday in Greensboro, North Carolina, Trump targeted Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire who owns a share of The New York Times.

Trump declared that "we can't let" Slim influence the election.

Trump has threatened to sue the Times for a story that featured two women who accused Trump of sexual misconduct.

Trump is accusing the media of fabricating stories about a slew of women who have made similar accusations in recent days. Trump says the stories are lies.

He said, "our media is indeed sick and it's making our country sick. And we're going to stop it."


3:05 p.m.

Donald Trump is claiming that "this whole election is being rigged."

Trump, speaking Friday in North Carolina, repeated his incendiary claim that the November election was not being conducted honestly. That's an unprecedented assertion that challenges America's tradition of peaceful democracy.

The Republican nominee said "the process is rigged" and declared that "the whole thing is one big fix."

Trump also again blasted the media, claiming the coverage of him has been biased. His latest target was Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire who owns a share of The New York Times.

Trump declared in Greensboro that "we can't let" Slim influence the election. Trump has also threatened to sue The New York Times over a story featuring two of the women who have accused him of sexual assault.


3 p.m.

Donald Trump is criticizing the appearance of a woman who accused him of sexual assault.

Trump, in denying the accusations again, said if "you looked at the horrible woman" who made the latest accusation, "you'd say 'I don't think so.'"

It was not immediately clear which of the women Trump was denigrating at the rally Friday in Greensboro, North Carolina. Several have accused him of groping and unwanted kisses.

The Republican presidential nominee said "phony accusers" were making accusations against him "for a little fame."

Trump said he "has no idea who these women are" and said that his supporters would believe him "because you people know me for a lot of years."


2:50 p.m.

Donald Trump's strategy in the final weeks of the presidential election appears to be aimed at lowering turnout by making Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as unpopular and distasteful to voters as he is.

Yet early voting numbers, Democratic enthusiasm and historical trends show that approach isn't likely to help Trump.

His only path would actually be to expand his support, something he has struggled to do since winning the Republican nomination.

Trump and his aides don't come out and say he wants a low voter turnout. But Trump ally Roger Stone says the Republican nominee wants to drive women away from Clinton, and polls have suggested that the GOP nominee himself is unlikely to be the beneficiary of any defections.


1:45 p.m.

Another woman has come forward to say she was sexually assaulted by Donald Trump. His campaign denies the allegation.

Kristin Anderson tells The Washington Post that she was sitting on a couch with friends at a New York nightclub in the early 1990s when someone's hand reached up her skirt and touched her through her underwear.

Then in her early 20s, Anderson tells the newspaper in story posted online Friday that she pushed the hand away, turned around and recognized Trump as the man who had groped her.

Trump's campaign spokeswoman says, "Mr. Trump strongly denies this phony allegation by someone looking to get some free publicity. It is totally ridiculous."

The Post says it contacted the 46-year-old Anderson after a friend she told about the incident recounted it to a reporter. Other friends also told the Post that Anderson told them the same story years ago.

Anderson's account comes after several other women have reported that Trump groped or kissed them without their consent. The Republican presidential nominee has denied the allegations.


12:05 p.m.

President Barack Obama says "democracy is on the ballot" in the presidential election.

Obama is warning voters that Donald Trump poses a risk to the America's democratic political system. He's calling out Trump for claiming the election is rigged against him.

Obama told Hillary Clinton supporters at a rally Friday in Cleveland that some nations do rig elections. He said they are tyrannies that oppress their people. Obama said the U.S. has fought against those things.

Obama said in a democracy, a politician can't just ban journalists "that you don't like." He cited the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment protections for freedom of the press.


11:35 a.m.

President Barack Obama is saying that all of America's progress under his administration over the last eight years "goes out the window" if voters elect Donald Trump.

Obama is holding a rally Friday for Hillary Clinton in Cleveland. He's urging Ohio Democrats to cast their votes now, with early voting under way in the state.

The president said America is better than Trump's remarks about women, minorities and other groups. He said you don't have to be a husband or father to know his comments about how he treats women are "not right." He said you just have to be a decent human being.

Obama was interrupted briefly by a pro-Trump protester shouting about Bill Clinton and rape allegations. Obama suggested the protester may have been paid to be at the rally.


10:55 a.m.

The national Republican Party raised about $9 million less last month than it did in September 2012.

The Republican National Committee's fundraising challenges come as presidential nominee Donald Trump struggles to retain support from top elected Republicans.

The RNC said Friday it raised $39.4 million in September. Federal Election Commission records show that in September 2012, it raised $48.4 million. Mitt Romney was the party's nominee then.

Over the two-year period leading to the election, the party's fundraising is up by almost $20 million. That's according to the RNC statement and FEC records.


8:25 a.m.

Mike Pence says evidence is forthcoming that will help his running mate, Donald Trump, refute allegations by several women of sexual assault.

Pence told Fox News on Friday that "the campaign is working on bringing that out."

Pence also complained that the media unfairly focused on the sexual assault allegations instead of newly released hacked emails apparently from Hillary Clinton's campaign. He said emails from Clinton advisers show "religious bigotry."

He was referring to an exchange in which one aide suggested that being Catholic is a more "socially acceptable" conservative religion than being evangelical.

Pence, an evangelical, said Clinton should denounce "these kinds of demeaning statements."


3:30 a.m.

Donald Trump contends he doesn't know and never even met some of the women accusing him of sexual assault.

Rejecting his claims of being the victim of false stories, Hillary Clinton and ally Michelle Obama say Americans are learning more about Trump's unacceptable behavior every day.

Four women have told publications detailed stories about encounters with Trump that ended with groping, kissing and other unwanted sexual advances.

Trump denied the allegations again and again Thursday as supporters cheered him in Florida and Ohio, states central to his election effort.

WikiLeaks released a new batch of hacked emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's account. They indicated that Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign had tried to move the Illinois Democratic primary to a later date, believing it might help her.


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