New allegations of sexual misconduct rocked Donald Trump’s campaign Friday as the candidate denounced his accusers, blasted news organizations that have reported the claims and said it all shows “the whole election is being rigged.”
The Republican presidential nominee said his advisers have urged him to talk about other issues, but he felt compelled to defend himself against a stream of accusations from women he said he has never met.
“I feel I have to talk about it,” he told a rally at Greensboro, North Carolina, adding, “It’s a phony deal. I have no idea who these women are.”
The latest accuser, a former contestant on Trump’s reality show, “The Apprentice,” said he made unwanted sexual advances at a Beverly Hills hotel in 2007. Summer Zervos, 41, is among several women who have made similar allegations in the past week.
Zervos was an “Apprentice” contestant in 2006. She said she later contacted Trump to inquire about a job with one of his businesses. She said she had an initial meeting with Trump, and when they parted he kissed her on the lips and asked for her phone number. Weeks later Trump called to invite her to meet him at a hotel, she said, and during their meeting he became sexually aggressive, kissing her open mouthed and touching her breast.
Earlier Friday, the Washington Post reported the contentions of another woman who says she was sexually assaulted by Trump. Kristin Anderson told the Post 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.
Anderson told the newspaper that she pushed the hand away, turned around and recognized Trump as the man who had groped her.
“It’s nonsense,” Trump said. “It’s false.”
He said his accusers are looking for “fast fame” by making unsubstantiated claims.
“These people are sick,” he said.
His running mate, Mike Pence, said earlier Friday that the Trump campaign will soon produce evidence to support Trump’s denial that he forced himself on women.
In his Greensboro remarks, Trump took aim at the news media, accusing reporters of conspiring with Democrat Hillary Clinton to defeat his candidacy.
The accusations of sexual misconduct, he said, are “poisoning the minds of the electorate.”
Donald Trump has accused “sick 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.” Donald Trump also criticized 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.”