Donald Trump has lashed out at the media and the Clinton campaign as he faces a barrage of sexual assault allegations.
“These vicious claims about me, of inappropriate conduct with women, are totally and absolutely false,” he told a rally in Florida.
In his first public appearance since several claims surfaced, he called the women ‘horrible liars’, and suggested it was part of an establishment conspiracy to keep him out of the White House.
“There is nothing the political establishment will not do, no lie they won’t tell to hold their prestige and power at your expense and that’s what’s happening,” he told supporters.
One woman, Jessica Leeds appeared in a video on the New York Times website, detailing how Trump had tried to put his hand up her skirt on a flight 30 years ago. A friend, Linda Ross, explains why she finally decided to come forward.
“You know she did think about it and I certainly encouraged her and other people encouraged her. She told me Sunday when I mentioned it before the debate, she said ‘I’ve had lots of emails from people I told this weekend saying it’s time for you to go public’. So I guess she just felt it was the time to do it.”
Trump responded by saying he would sue the New York Times for ‘libel per se’. To which the paper’s lawyer responded with an explanation of libel as defamation, saying ‘Nothing in our article has had any effect on the reputation that Mr Trump, through his own words and actions, has created for himself.’
A former writer at People magazine, Natasha Stoynoff, said she hadn’t come forward with allegations of sexual assault for fear a rich powerful man would ‘discredit and destroy her.’ Senior editor at People magazine Charlotte Triggs recounts Stoynoff’s story.
“So in 2005 she was covering a story at Mar-a-lago with Donald and Melania about their anniversary. And she said that while Melania was upstairs changing, and of course Melania out was pregnant at the time, Donald wanted to show her around the compound. And so he took her into a room and closed the door, and then he threw her up against the wall and kissed her against her will. And she was so shocked that she honestly didn’t know what to do.”
Trump hit back on Twitter denying the events.
Twitter users had another way of responding to the allegations with the hashtag #TrumpDrSeuss
With the presidential vote just weeks away, Trump has taken a hit in the polls. The latest counts show him trailing Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by 8 points.