Women who accused Donald Trump of sexual assault call for 'round two' and describe heartbreak at his election

The women are coming forward once again as they did before Mr Trump's victory

Mythili Sampathkumar
New York
Tuesday 12 December 2017 02:21
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Donald Trump sexual harassment accuser: 'Let's play for round two'

Three women who have previously accused President Donald Trump of sexual harassment are now calling for a Congressional investigation into his alleged behaviour, saying "let’s play round two.”

Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Crooks had shared their stories of alleged sexual harassment by Mr Trump prior to the 2016 US election last November.

“Now let’s try Round 2. The environment is different," Ms Holvey said on NBC in light of the #metoo social media movement which brought together survivors of harassment and assault.

Brave New Films, a nonprofit filmmaker, produced a video featuring 16 of Mr Trump's accusers and organised the news conference in New York on Monday. In the film, women accused Trump of kissing them without permission or making other unwanted advances.

Mr Trump and White House officials have denied the allegations, some of which date back to the 1980s.

“These false claims, totally disputed in most cases by eyewitness accounts, were addressed at length during last year'€™s campaign, and the American people voiced their judgment by delivering a decisive victory,” a White House spokesperson said in a statement, questioning the women's timing and political motives.

Ms Holvey told NBC that "it hurt" that Mr Trump won after the women came forward before the election about "who this man is and especially how he views women".

Though Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 3 million ballots, Mr Trump won the white women demographic across the country.

Mr Trump has vehemently denied the allegations, calling them "totally fake news".

Ms Crooks, called the White House statement "laughable."

“I think politicians seem to be immune to this," said Ms Crooks, noting the fallout for men in Hollywood and entertainment like Harvey Weinstein, who was forced to leave his own company over allegations made against him. Mr Weinstein denies all accusations.

Ms Crooks called for holding the President to the "same standards" as Mr Weinstein.

Ms Crooks said: "in an objective setting, without question, a person with this record would have entered the graveyard of political aspirations, never to return."

Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand told CNN that Mr Trump should resign over the accusations.

"These allegations are credible,“ Gillibrand said in an interview calling the women's allegations "heartbreaking."

Ms Gillibrand recently said former President Bill Clinton, a fellow Democrat, should have stepped down during the 1990s scandal that led the House of Representatives to vote to impeach him. On Monday, she said that if Mr Trump does not immediately resign, Congress "should have appropriate investigations of his behaviour and hold him accountable."

Over the weekend, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told CBS News that Mr Trump's accusers "should be heard."

"They should be heard and they should be dealt with. And I think we heard from them prior to the election. And I think any woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up,” Ms Haley said.

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