Four women accused Donald Trump of groping or kissing them without their consent in news reports published Wednesday, just days after the Republican presidential nominee insisted in a debate that he had never engaged in such behavior.
One of the women alleges that Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt during a flight more than three decades ago, the New York Times reported. Another says he kissed her on the mouth outside an elevator in 2005, according to the same report. A third woman says Trump groped her rear end at his Mar-a-Lago resort 13 years ago, the Palm Beach Post reported. The fourth, then a People magazine reporter, says Trump kissed her without her consent when the two were alone in 2005 right before an interview she was about to conduct with Trump and his wife.
Trump and his campaign denied the allegations. But in each of the first three instances, the newspapers spoke to people close to the women — a universe that includes friends, family members, significant others and colleagues — who verified that they told them their stories about what they say happened months or years ago. In the fourth, the reporter wrote a detailed first person account of what she says happened on People’s website.
The GOP presidential nominee was considering filing a lawsuit against the Times and was consulting with advisers about his legal options, according to two people close to him. The two people, who requested anonymity to discuss private conversations, said Trump is furious about the accusations made against him in the story and with the newspaper for publishing them.
Early Thursday morning, Trump’s campaign released a letter from attorney Marc E. Kasowitz demanding a retraction from the Times. “Failure to do so will leave my client with no option but to pursue all available actions and remedies,” it said. The letter was addressed to Times executive editor Dean Baquet.
In a statement issued by his campaign shortly after the Times report was published, spokesman Jason Miller said, “This entire article is fiction.” Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told the Palm Beach Post “there is no truth” to the third allegation. Hicks denied the fourth account in a statement, saying it “never happened.”
The news came five days after The Washington Post reported Friday on a 2005 video in which Trump can be heard making vulgar comments on a hot microphone about physically forcing himself on women sexually.