7 Enraging and Heartbreaking New Revelations from Trump's Accusers
On Monday morning, three women who have accused Donald Trump of sexual abuse appeared on Megyn Kelly’s NBC Morning Show and took part in a press conference led by Brave New Films to demand a congressional investigation into the charges against the president.
Jessica Leeds says Trump groped her repeatedly on a plane three decades ago. Rachel Crooks, a former receptionist for a real estate development company with an office in Trump Tower, has alleged that Trump tried to kiss her several times in 2005. Samantha Holvey, who represented the state of North Carolina in the 2006 Miss USA pageant, says Trump would appear backstage to leer at her and other contestants. At least 16 other women have accused Trump of sexually inappropriate behavior.
Here are seven of the most disturbing allegations to emerge from their interviews.
1. Trump verbally insulted one of the women years later.
Leeds says that three years after he assaulted her on a plane, she ran into Trump at a gala.
“I recognized him, immediately,” she said. “He's the guy on the airplane. But he stands there, as I'm handing him this table assignment, and he says, 'I remember you. You were that...woman from the airplane. He called me the worst name ever."
“You don’t want to say it out loud. Does it begin with a C?” Kelly asked.
“Yes,” Leeds responded.
2. They were disappointed by the majority of white women voting for Trump.
Kelly asked what the women made of the fact that 53 percent of white women voted for Trump, despite at least a dozen women having accused him of sexual assault and/or harassment, and the emergence of a 2005 video in which Trump boasted about grabbing women by the genitals.
“That’s what hurt the most,” Holvey responded. “That women, who have lived through this—everybody has their own story of a man touching them inappropriately...This is not an incident that only happens once in a blue moon. This is a daily thing for women. And for [white women who voted for Trump] 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 to be leading my country.’ And that was so painful.”
3. They were attacked by Trump supporters for telling their stories.
Kelly asked the group about the “blowback from [Trump’s] Twitter army” they’d received for coming forward. Crooks recounted how she had been accused of lying by a woman who claimed to know her family, but whom she’d never actually met. “Of course,” she said. “Definitely. Social media is harsh.”
Kelly pointed out that Leeds’ detractors tried to pick apart her story by focusing on tiny details, such as her recollection that the armrest between her seat and Trump's had been removed at the time of the incident. She said subsequent reports noted that in the 1970s, armrests in first-class seats on that type of plane were, indeed, removable.
4. They questioned why some politicians seem to get away with serial abuse and assault.
Leeds suggested partisanship among Republicans was at the root of Trump’s “Teflon” ability to remain unscathed by the mountain of sexual assault and harassment allegations.
“I really wanted people to know who he is and what he is,” she said of going public with her accusations. “And I think his core supporters do know...but he’s their dog, so they’re going to stick with their dog.”
“Because he’s got the right team jersey on,” Kelly said.
At another point in the conversation, after a brief mention of the resignations of senators Al Franken and John Conyers, Crooks questioned the difference. “Why is the president immune to that?” she asked, later noting, “Politicians of a certain background seem to not be held accountable. And I think that’s sad.”
5. One victim described not being believed, and Trump’s election, as 'heartbreaking.'
“We’re private citizens,” Holvey stated. “And for us to put ourselves out there to try to show America who this man is and especially how he views women and for them to say ‘Meh, we don’t care,’ it hurt. And so, you know, now, it’s just like, all right, let’s try round two. The environment’s different. Let’s try again."
“For us to put ourselves out there to try to show America who this man is and especially how he views women and for… https://t.co/lA18opfNt8— TODAY (@TODAY) 1513001341.0
6. They’re calling for a long overdue congressional investigation into the charges against Trump.
“We’re at the position now where in some areas of our society, people are being held accountable for unwanted behavior,” Leeds stated before a group of assembled press. "But we are not holding our president accountable for what he is and who he is.”
“They’ve investigated other Congress members, so I think it only stands fair that he be investigated as well,” Holvey added. “And I think a nonpartisan investigation is very important...This isn’t a partisan issue. This how women are treated every day.”
7. All of them wish they didn’t have to be in the spotlight.
“None of us want this attention,” Leeds said,during the press conference. “None of us are comfortable with it. If we had been comfortable with being a star, we would have done something else with our lives. But this is important. So when asked, we speak out.”