President Donald Trump, less than an hour before his scheduled daily intelligence briefing, fired off a series of tweets denying a 13-year-old allegation that he forcibly kissed a young woman in Trump Tower.
At issue is an allegation by Rachel Crooks, who was a secretary for a company that had an office in Trump’s Manhattan building. She alleges that after she met Trump near the elevators, he held her hand and began kissing her against her will.
“He started kissing me on one cheek, then the other cheek,” she recently told a group in Ohio, according to the Washington Post. “He was talking to me in between kisses, asking where I was from, or if I wanted to be a model. He wouldn’t let go of my hand, and then he went right in and started kissing me on the lips.”
“It felt like a long kiss,” Cook said. “The whole thing probably lasted two minutes, maybe less.”
Cook is one of 19 women who have charged Trump with sexual misconduct or assault.
The president, who prides himself on always striking back forcefully at just about any charge levied against him, did just that with a Tuesday morning tweet series.
He called Cook a “woman I don’t know,” and said to the best of his knowledge he’d never met her. The incident “never happened,” Trump wrote, asking rhetorically over two tweets: “Who would do this in a public space with live security..........cameras running. Another False Accusation.”
A woman I don’t know and, to the best of my knowledge, never met, is on the FRONT PAGE of the Fake News Washington Post saying I kissed her (for two minutes yet) in the lobby of Trump Tower 12 years ago. Never happened! Who would do this in a public space with live security......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2018
....cameras running. Another False Accusation. Why doesn’t @washingtonpost report the story of the women taking money to make up stories about me? One had her home mortgage paid off. Only @FoxNews so reported...doesn’t fit the Mainstream Media narrative.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2018
Cook’s and other allegations against Trump were part of the debate during the 2016 election about whether he was qualified to hold the highest elected office. Enough voters in the right places ultimately decided he was.
Trump’s voice can be heard on a recording made during an appearance on the “Access Hollywood” program saying he has grabbed women by their genitals and cannot resist kissing attractive women.
“You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them,” Trump said to Billy Bush in the 2005 tape. “It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”
“When you’re a star, they let you do it,” Trump said. “You can do anything.”
“Whatever you want,” Bush responded.
“Grab them by the p---y,” Trump said. “You can do anything.”
Watch: The #MeToo Impact on 2018