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Trump assails his accusers as liars, and unattractive
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Donald Trump used a campaign speech Friday in North Carolina to attack the women accusing him of sexual assault or unwelcome advances as fame-seekers and liars, while portraying himself as the victim of a vast conspiracy on the part of the news media and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Speaking at a rally here, Trump dismissed as “total fiction” the accounts of a growing number of women who say he groped them or made unwanted sexual advances. But he offered no evidence to cast doubt on their allegations.
Instead, Trump assailed their motives, suggesting that they might have been paid off. And Trump referred to one woman, Jessica Leeds, who said Trump groped her on an airplane in the 1980s, as “that horrible woman,” saying Leeds would not have drawn his interest.
“Believe me, she would not be my first choice,” Trump said of Leeds, now 74.
He was similarly dismissive of Natasha Stoynoff, a former writer for People magazine who accused Trump of making sexual advances during an interview. “Check out her Facebook page, you’ll understand,” Trump said.
Escalating his war on the news media to deflect from accumulating allegations that he mistreated women, Trump also accused The New York Times, and Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire who is its largest individual holder of common shares, of conspiring with the Clinton campaign “to try and keep their grip on our country.”
“The corrupt media is trying to do everything in their power to stop our movement, believe me,” he said.
“No media is more corrupt than the failing New York Times,” Trump said. He noted that Slim came from Mexico and was a prolific donor “to the Clintons and their initiatives.”
“Reporters at The New York Times are not journalists,” Trump said. “They’re corporate lobbyists for Carlos Slim and Hillary Clinton.”
He said the “foreign corporations” and their executives were trying to “decide the outcome” of the election, and pleaded with his supporters, “We cannot let this happen.”
Trump continued to get battered Friday by new charges of forcing himself on women. The Washington Post quoted one woman, Kristin Anderson, who described how Trump slid his fingers up her skirt and touched her vagina through her underwear at a Manhattan nightclub in the early 1990s. It was only when she turned to look at him, she recounted, that she realized it was Trump. A Trump spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, denied Anderson’s allegation, calling it “phony” and “totally ridiculous.”
And in Los Angeles, Summer Zervos, a Republican and a former contestant on Trump’s television show, “The Apprentice,” accused Trump of kissing her forcefully, grabbing her breasts and thrusting his pelvis into her when they met to discuss her career prospects at the Beverly Hills Hotel in 2007. Zervos said she had expected a dinner meeting but was instead escorted to Trump’s private bungalow, where she said he tried to seduce her.
“He asked me to sit next to him,” Zervos said at a news conference. “He grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me aggressively and placed his hand on my breast.” She said she managed to elude his advances but nonetheless went ahead with the meeting.
Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Zervos’ account.