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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Wednesday, April 25, 2018

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As accusers repeat past horrors, Trump faces calls to resign

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Share on Facebook December 12, 2017, Reporter : BNN, Reader : 542

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WASHINGTON, U.S. - Some spoke about their past horrors when the man contesting to be America’s next president suddenly seemed like he had a good chance - while others spoke to ruin his chances just before the election. Yet other similar cases continued to emerge as he was inaugurated… and while those who have accused U.S. President Donald Trump of sexual harassment might have remained low profile for months - many are now returning to haunt the President. 

Three such Trump accusers appeared on National television on Monday, to recount sexual misconduct claims, amid a whirlwind of such accusations being made against prominent politicians, sports stars, celebrities and others.

A women who accused Trump of groping and forcibly kissing her on an airplane during the 1970s said she decided to share her story to show the public “what kind of pervert” Trump is.

Jessica Leeds appearing on the ‘Megyn Kelly Today’ on Monday morning along with two other women, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Crooks who had also accused the president of sexual misconduct before he was elected.

Commenting on why she decided to share her experience with the president, Leeds said, “I wanted people to know what kind of person that Trump really is, what a pervert he is.”

The women came forward during the 2016 campaign, but decided to speak out again amid the rise of the #MeToo movement.

So far, the #MeToo movement has seen thousands of women share their experiences with sexual harassment.

The #MeToo movement has led to the resignation of three members of Congress, including Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz.

More importantly, the movement has led to a national conversation about sexual harassment and has put the spotlight on the White House, as more than a dozen women have accused the president of sexual misconduct.

Leeds said her incident with the president occurred when she was seated next to him in first class on a plane in the 1970s.

She said that she was working as a traveling salesperson at the time and said Trump was “all over me, kissing and groping me, and groping and kissing.”

Leeds recalled Trump not saying anything to her, but rather said it was “this silent groping going on.”

When Trump allegedly tried to put his hand up her skirt, Leeds said she jumped out of her seat and went to the back of the plane. 

She said she waited there until all passengers deplaned, and then left.

Leeds added that she ran into Trump at a fundraiser for the Humane Society of New York, where she worked, years later and said he told her, “You were that … woman from the airplane.”

She said, “He called me the worst name ever. The worst one,” adding it started with a ‘C’ and ended with a ’T.’

Leeds said she decided to come forward with her story after watching one of the presidential debates, during which Kelly pressed Trump about his history of misogynistic comments. 

After that, she decided to write a letter to the New York Times.

She said, “My story is so old. But I have talked to a lot of people, not the women from Trump because as we said, this is the first time we’ve had any contact with each other, but I've talked to businesswomen, I’ve talked to friends, I’ve talked to ladies at the Y, and I discovered everybody has a story.”

Meanwhile, Holvey a former Miss North Carolina who competed in the Miss USA pageant, which Trump owned said, "Let's try round two.”

Holvey said Trump ogled pageant contestants and would walk backstage where the women were changing.

She said, “Miss USA wasn’t my first pageant. There were no men backstage. The directors never came backstage, male or female.”

Holvey was one of the several women who spoke about Trump’s misconduct during the 2016 campaign, and said it was disheartening to watch the country dismiss their experiences and elect him to the presidency.

Speaking about Trump’s supporters, Hovley said, “For them not to say, ‘You know what, that’s wrong. I don’t support that. I’m not voting for that. I don’t want that person leading my country,’ that’s so painful.”

Crooks too said she was the victim of sexual misconduct from Trump.

Crooks worked at Trump Tower when she was 22-years-old and said during one occasion when she introduced herself to Trump, the businessman kissed her repeatedly against her will, including on the lips.

She said, “I was shocked, devastated. I wish I would’ve been courageous enough to be like, ‘What’s going on? You need to stop this.’”

Crooks said the incident happened early in the morning, before her colleagues were in the office, and said she immediately hid in her boss’s office to call her sister and tell her of what occurred.

However, since Trump was a partner of the organization she worked for, Crooks said she didn’t feel she could say anything.

Crooks added that Trump later asked for her phone number and told her he would pass it along to his modeling agency.

Crooks, a Democrat, said, “I was so uncomfortable and a little threatened like I didn’t have a choice in agreeing to do that. We were talking about it last night, too, and you feel like you have to say yes. You don’t want to be the nasty girl, the mean girl who doesn’t comply.”

Kelly, on her show also read out a statement by the White House on-air.

The White House, which has repeatedly denied the allegations from all three women, said they have “political motives.”

The statement read, “These false claims, totally disputed in most cases by eyewitness accounts, were addressed at length during last year’s campaign, and the American people voiced their judgment by delivering a decisive victory. The timing and absurdity of these false claims speaks volumes and the publicity tour that has begun only further confirms the political motives behind them.”

Responding to the White House’s response Crooks called it “laughable,” and said she would “love” for security footage from Trump Tower to be made public.

She further noted that there should be an ethics probe into the allegations against Trump, in the same way Franken and Conyers faced investigations from the House and Senate Ethics Committees for accusations made against them.

Holvey agreed that even though the country seems more aware of the pervasiveness of sexual misconduct, she was frustrated no one believed her when she shared her #MeToo moment about Trump on national television last year.

She said, “Where do we draw the line as women, coming together in this country, saying no. We don’t want to be treated like that anymore. We no longer accept this. It’s happened long enough. No. When does that happen?”

On Monday, after the story appeared, a growing chorus of lawmakers urged Trump to step down over the allegations. 

Following the resignation of Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) over groping allegations, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) have all called for Trump to resign.

Booker previously said, “I just watched Sen. Al Franken do the honorable thing and resign from his office. My question is, why isn’t Donald Trump doing the same thing — who has more serious allegations against him, with more women who have come forward.”

On Monday, after the story, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) called for an investigation into the sexual harassment allegations against Trump.

Wyden tweeted out an article about the news conference with Trump’s accusers and called for a congressional investigation into the allegations.

Wyden wrote, “These women are right. If @realDonaldTrump won't resign, Congress must investigate allegations by many, many women that he sexually assaulted and harassed them. No one is above the law.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said on Monday that Trump should step down, and that if he doesn’t, there should be a congressional investigation.

So far, at least 16 women have accused Trump of sexual harassment or assault. 

 

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