Donald Trump pushed back aggressively against what he called “phony” accusations of inappropriate sexual conduct leveled by several women, two more of whom came forward on Friday.
Trump launched into his defense at a rally Friday afternoon in Greensboro, North Carolina, saying he is being attacked with lies and slander.
“My people always say, don’t talk about it, talk about jobs,” Trump said. “But I feel I have to talk about it because you have to dispute when somebody says something.”
Trump indicated he welcomed the chance to answer the allegations and even suggested that one of the women wasn’t attractive enough to draw his attention. “She would not be my first choice, that I can tell you. You don’t know, that would not be my first choice.”
Trump’s running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, said earlier in the day that the campaign would release evidence that “calls into question these allegations.” He said on CBS that he believes Trump’s denials of inappropriate behavior. The campaign has yet to provide any material to counter the accusations.
At the same time Trump was speaking, another woman was laying out new allegations against the Republican nominee at a news conference in Los Angeles called by activist lawyer Gloria Allred. Summer Zervos, a contestant on season five of Trump’s show, “The Apprentice,” said Trump repeatedly tried to kiss her and grab her breasts during a private dinner when she was seeking a job with his company. She said after she rebuffed his attempts, Trump “gave me the run around” as she sought employment.
Allred, who’s been a supporter of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, said Zervos and other women are coming forward now because of the release of a 2005 recording of Trump bragging that he could do anything he wanted to women and his subsequent denial at the second presidential debate that he ever acted in that manner.
In another case made public Friday, Kristin Anderson, now 46 and a photographer living in Southern California, told the Washington Post that Trump groped her at a crowded Manhattan nightspot during the 1990s.
Anderson, at the time a model in her early 20s, said she was seated on a couch in conversation with acquaintances when Trump, who was seated beside her, slid his fingers under her miniskirt and touched her genitals through her underwear. She said she shoved his hand aside and fled the couch.
In Greensboro, Trump, 70, said he had “no idea” who the accusers are and that some are making the allegations “for a little fame.” He again called the accusations lies pushed by the media and the Clinton campaign in the final weeks of the presidential election.