Political News

New allegations of sexual misconduct rock Trump campaign

Posted 12:25 a.m. Saturday
Updated 12:28 a.m. Saturday

— Battered by sordid new accusations of sexual misbehavior, Donald Trump fought back in ever-more-remarkable fashion Friday, acting out one woman's allegation onstage and suggesting another was not attractive enough to merit his attention. He defiantly denied a week's worth of accusations that have all but consumed his presidential bid just over three weeks before the election.

"She would not be my first choice, that I can tell you," Trump said of one woman in a rambling attack on his female accusers as he campaigned in battleground North Carolina.

The New York businessman said his staff wanted him to avoid the topic altogether but that he couldn't resist defending himself. He blamed the growing story on his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton and an international media conspiracy, describing his female accusers as "sick" people seeking fame or money.

"The only thing I can say is hopefully, hopefully, our patriotic movement will overcome this terrible deception," he declared.

Trump assailed The New York Times in particular, noting its connection to Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, who is a major shareholder in the media company.

Spokesman Arturo Elias Ayub later said Slim doesn't know Trump at all "and is not the least bit interested in his personal life."

Trump's running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, promised Friday morning the campaign would soon release evidence against the women that would show Trump's innocence. More than 12 hours later, the Trump campaign released a statement in which an accuser's cousin said he was "shocked and bewildered" by her account.

John Barry of Mission Viejo, California, said in the statement that Summer Zervos, a former contestant on NBC's "The Apprentice," ''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."

Zervos said during a Friday news conference that the former reality television star became sexually aggressive at a Beverly Hills hotel in 2007.

Pence remarked at "the enormous coverage of these, of these really unfounded allegations, unestablished allegations, compared to an avalanche of emails coming out of Hillary Clinton's years as secretary of state."

Indeed, Friday marked another day on which WikiLeaks released thousands of emails that had been stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's personal account.

The new batch showed that Hillary Clinton's campaign asked former President Bill Clinton to cancel a speech to an investment firm last year because of concerns that the Clintons might appear to be too cozy with Wall Street just as she was about to announce her candidacy.

Clinton aides say in the emails that Hillary Clinton did not want her husband to cancel the speech but was eventually convinced. The Clintons' paid speeches have been an issue throughout the campaign, particularly lucrative speeches to Wall Street.

The Clinton campaign, citing information it says is from the FBI, says the hacks are being investigated as part of a broader attack on Democratic Party leaders that may involve Russia.

Clinton herself spoke Friday of a need for national healing.

"I take no satisfaction in seeing what Trump does and says because it hurts — it hurts me and it hurts our country," she said in a speech at a fundraiser.

Polls suggest Trump has fallen further behind Clinton nationally and in most battleground states. Early in-person voting is underway in 20 states, including Ohio, where President Barack Obama railed against Trump a day after first lady Michelle Obama declared in a passionate speech, "Enough is enough."

The Obamas both seized on Trump's words, captured in a video released last week, bragging about kissing and groping women without their permission. The 70-year-old billionaire has apologized, but also repeatedly dismissed his comments as "locker room talk."

"You don't have to be a husband or a father to know that that kind of language, those kinds of thoughts, those kinds of actions are unacceptable. They're not right. You just have to be a decent human being," President Obama charged in Columbus, Ohio.

Two more women, meanwhile, came forward Friday with allegations against Trump.

Zervos, appearing at a news conference with attorney Gloria Allred, said Trump kissed her open-mouthed and touched her breasts in a private room.

And in a story published online Friday, Kristin Anderson told The Washington Post that she was sitting on a couch with friends at a New York nightclub in the early 1990s when a hand reached up her skirt and touched her through her underwear.

Anderson, then in her early 20s, said she pushed the hand away, turned around and recognized Trump as the man who had groped her.

Trump mocked Anderson's claim onstage as he campaigned in North Carolina, pausing to reach out his hand to touch an imaginary woman as his accuser described. "I just heard this one. It's like, it's like unbelievable," he said.

Even before the mounting allegations, there was evidence that Trump's troubles were hurting the Republican Party's ability to raise money.

The Republican National Committee has raised about 25 percent less over the past three months than it did over the same period four years ago, when Mitt Romney was atop the ticket.

The RNC said Friday that it raised $39.4 million last month, compared to $48.4 million in September 2012. It says it has raised $262.3 million since January 2015, about $20 million more than it had by this time in 2012.

Friday's accusations against Trump are in line with similar allegations by women in articles by The New York Times and the Palm Beach Post. Separately, a People magazine reporter offered a first-person account accusing Trump of attacking her in 2005 while she was in Florida to interview him and his pregnant wife.

He specifically rejected the People magazine accuser's claim at the North Carolina rally. "She is a liar. She is a liar," Trump said. "These people are sick."

Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan delivered a high-profile speech on Friday criticizing Clinton and promoting Republicans in next month's elections.

The nation's top elected Republican did not, however, say the words "Donald Trump."


Peoples reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Josh Lederman in Columbus, Ohio, Julie Bykowicz and Hope Yen in Washington and Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin, contributed to this report.a


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  • Jahman Playaman Oct 17, 4:28 a.m.
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    The burning of the RNC office just doesn't seem to be all that it should.... This sounds all too reminiscent of the attack on the Riechstag (which was carried out by the Nazi party)..... I would not be surprised if trump supporters do this exact same thing in other battle ground states as an attempt to galvanize supports to vote for their losing candidate who is a complete psychopath.

  • Susan Eaton Oct 14, 10:52 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    Zeeshan-ul-hassan Usmani. See: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/abdul-aziz-muslim-north-carolina-us-pakistan-donald-trump-islamophobia-a7361876.html

    Apologies at the original post misspelling of Fulbright scholar.

  • Alfred Barnes Oct 14, 10:20 p.m.
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    Full right? Bwahahahahaha, not, you are!

    Thanks for the laugh, the phobic attack you reference didn't happen.

    Hmm, how can I get my post censored? Nah!

    Can you be any more discredited, you and your choice for flotus?

  • Alfred Barnes Oct 14, 10:13 p.m.
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    Really, 16 comments 15 minutes after it posted? Mainstream media on a roll!

  • Samuel Tyler Oct 14, 10:11 p.m.
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    Allegations??? That's all they are. Perfect timing right before the election. Soros must have paid them millions or was it the Clinton Foundation or the DNC. Not much coverage of the damning emails wiki leaks just released. It is a known fact Hillary lied about Benghazi. It is a know fact she put American's live in danger with her unsecured email server. It is a known fact she doesn't know a classified email was marked with a "C". That alone should demand her security clearance be revoked, but let's make a big deal out of "alleged" assaults and naughty words.

  • RB Redmond Oct 14, 7:32 p.m.
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    Calling them names and saying one was not attractive enough to warrant his attention is childish and reprehensible, but is just what one would expect from someone as declasse' as Trump is. He's proof money doesn't buy good manners. With Gloria Allred stepping in to represent some of these women, Mr. Moneybags won't be able to hide behind his high-priced attorneys for long.

  • Ken Ackerman Oct 14, 4:29 p.m.
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    Who are you referring to?

  • B.c. Jimmy Oct 14, 3:53 p.m.
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    Complete distraction focus on the issues

  • Susan Eaton Oct 14, 3:31 p.m.
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    in the same place as the story about a full right scholar cyber security expert working to secure the IS who happens to be Muslim. His family fled CARY, NC because after several other islamaphobic experiences, their 7 year old got beat up for eating hilal and WCPSS brushed it all aside.

  • Susan Eaton Oct 14, 3:27 p.m.
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    i did. And then I rejected all of that as oft repeated garbage. Bring on the election.