On October 7, The Washington Post leaked a video of Donald Trump making sexually predatory comments about women. The remarks came during a 2005 exchange with Billy Bush, then the host of Access Hollywood.
The two were traveling in an Access Hollywood bus to the set of the soap opera Days of Our Lives, where Trump was to make a cameo appearance. A “hot” microphone picked up their conversation–which has proved damning for Trump:
Donald Trump: You know and I moved on her actually. You know she was down on Palm Beach. I moved on her and I failed. I’ll admit it. I did try and fuck her.
She was married. No this was–and I moved on her very heavily, in fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture. I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there, and she was married.
Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.
[At that point, they spot Adrianne Zucker, the starring actress in Days in Our Lives.]
Trump: Yeah, that’s her. With the gold. I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful–I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.
And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.
When the Washington Post broke the story on October 7, the reaction was immediate–and explosive.
The Trump campaign quickly released a statement: “This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course–not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”
During the second Presidential debate on October 9, moderator Anderson Cooper asked Trump: “Have you ever done those things?”
Trump: “And I will tell you–no I have not.”
On October 12, The Palm Beach Post, The New York Times and People all published stories of women claiming to have been sexually assaulted by Trump.
Mindy McGillivray told the Post that Trump groped her buttocks when she visited Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, in 2013.
In December, 2005, People magazine writer Natasha Stoynoff went to Mar-a-Lago to interview Donald and Melania Trump for a first-wedding-anniversary feature story.
During a break in the interview, Trump said he wanted to show Stoynoff around his mansion. There was one “tremendous” room he especially wanted to show her.
According to her account: “We walked into that room alone, and Trump shut the door behind us. I turned around, and within seconds he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat.”
Fortunately, Trump’s butler soon entered the room, and Trump acted as though nothing had happened. But as soon as he and Stoynoff were alone again, Trump said: “You know we’re going to have an affair, don’t you?”
Stoynoff asked her editors–and received permission–to be removed from writing any further Trump features.
The Times reported that, more than 30 years ago, Trump had made equally unwelcome advances toward businesswoman Jessica Leeds, then 38.
She said she was sitting next to Trump in the first-class cabin of a New York-bound flight when Trump lifted the armrest, grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt.
She fled to the back of the plane.
Another woman who spoke to the Times was Rachel Crooks. She was a 22-year-old receptionist at Bayrock Group, a real estate investment and development company in Trump Tower in Manhattan in 2005.
One morning she came face-to-face with Trump outside an elevator in the building. Knowing that her company did business with him, she introduced herself. They shook hands. But instead of letting go, Trump kissed her cheeks, and then “kissed me directly on the mouth.”
On October 11, questioned by a Times reporter about the women’s claims, Trump shouted: “None of this ever took place.”
He accused the newspaper of inventing accusations to hurt his Presidential candidacy. And he threatened to sue for libel if the Times reported the women’s stories.
On October 13, Trump used Twitter to deny the allegations in the Times and People.
On October 14, at a rally in North Carolina, Trump attacked the character of the women accusing him.
Of Stoynoff, he said: “Take a look. You take a look. Look at her. Look at her words. You tell me what you think. I don’t think so. I don’t think so.”
Calling Jessica Leeds “that horrible woman,” he said: “Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you. Whoever she is, wherever she comes from, the stories are total fiction. They’re 100% made up. They never happened.”
At one point during his lengthy outburst, Trump–who’s been married three times and often boasted of his sexual prowess–asked why President Barack Obama hasn’t had similar claims leveled against him.
By October 14, at least 12 women had publicly accused Trump of sexually inappropriate behavior.