Donald Trump’s fragile campaign has been hit by fresh allegations of inappropriate behaviour with two more women alleging that he made unwanted sexual advances and groped them, even as the Republican presidential candidate dismissed it as “lies” and a media plot against him.
Joining the increasing list of women accusing Trump of sexual misconduct, Summer Zervos, a former contestant of the reality TV show The Apprentice, alleged that the Republican presidential candidate made unwanted sexual advances and groped her in 2007.
“Lies, lies, lies,” Trump asserted at a rally on Friday night in Greensboro, North Carolina, referring to sexual misconduct allegations reported by the New York Times and other media.
Trump also hit out at Jessica Leeds, who told The New York Times that he groped and kissed her as they sat next to each other on a plane in the 1980s.
“Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you,” Trump said.
At a news conference in Los Angeles, Zervos alleged that the incident took place after she was eliminated from The Apprentice show Season 5 and approached Trump for work at one of his golf courses.
Zervos alleged that after an initial uncomfortable meeting in which he kissed her, Trump called Zervos when he came to Los Angeles and asked her to meet him at a Beverly Hills Hotel, besides enquiring where she would like to have dinner.
Zervos alleged that it was then that Trump made unwanted sexual advances at her and groped her.
However, John Berry, a first cousin of Zervos said that the press conference by her was a publicity stunt as all these years she said nothing but praised Trump.
In a report published on Friday, Kristin Anderson told The Washington Post that Trump had groped her at a New York night spot in the early 1990s.
Trump appeared to reference the allegation at the North Carolina rally, saying, “One came out recently where I was sitting alone in some club. I really don’t sit alone that much. Honestly, folks, I don’t think I sit alone.” However, the Post said Anderson never said that Trump was alone.
Trump also denied the allegations made by Zervos, saying, “I vaguely remember Ms. Zervos as one of the many contestants on The Apprentice over the years. To be clear, I never met her at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately a decade ago.”
“That is not who I am as a person, and it is not how I’ve conducted my life. In fact, Ms. Zervos continued to contact me for help, emailing my office on April 14th of this year asking that I visit her restaurant in California,” Trump said.
The accusation against Trump comes just days after at least five women accused him of sexual assault and harassment, threatening the controversial Republican presidential nominee’s already fragile campaign that was rocked by the surfacing of a video in which he is seen making lewd remarks about women.
Trump also slammed the media, saying, “The corrupt media is trying to do everything in their power to stop our movement.”
The 70-year-old real estate tycoon has also been claiming that the media and a “global elite” are working against him.
“Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of US sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special interest friends and her donors,” Trump told supporters in Florida.
In reference to Clinton’s accusation that Trump was “stalking” her during last Sunday’s debate, the bombastic Republican told his supporters that he was not impressed when she had simply walked in front of him.
“Let me tell you something about Hillary Clinton. She’s got nothing going, she’s got nothing. The only thing she’s got going is the media. She’s got nothing,” Trump told his supporters at an election rally in North Carolina on Friday.
“The other day I’m standing, I told you this. But I’m standing at my podium and she walks in front of me, right? She walks in front of me, you know? And when she walked in front of me, believe me I wasn’t impressed,” he said.
The second presidential debate on October 10 turned nasty from the start. Clinton did not shake hands with the 70-year-old real estate mogul as the two rivals walked on the stage at the WashingtonUniversity, a clear sign of the escalated rivalry between them, before proceeding for the fiery 90-minute clash attacking each other’s character.
Meanwhile, Obama, while campaigning for Clinton in Cleveland, warned that much is at stake in the election.
He hit out at Trump as a dictator-in-the-making.
“Tolerance is on the ballot. All the progress we made in the last eight years is on the ballot. Democracy itself is on the ballot right now,” Obama said.
Trump also called himself a “victim” as more women continued to come forward, accusing him of sexual assault and harassment.
“As you have seen, I am a victim of one of the great political smear campaigns in the history of our country,” he said at a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“They are coming after me to try and destroy what is considered by even them the greatest movement in the history of our country,” he said.
Trump’s comments came as he once again alleged it is “all false stuff” and there is a “concerted effort” to take down his campaign, ignoring calls from his campaign advisers to focus on economic issues rather than responding to the allegations.
“My people always say, ‘Don’t talk about it, talk about jobs, talk about the economy,’” Trump explained to his supporters in Greensboro. “But I feel I have to talk about it because you have to dispute when somebody says something.