President Donald Trump on Tuesday again denied a woman’s accusation that he forcibly kissed her when she worked at Trump Tower in 2006.
A front-page feature in Tuesday’s Washington Post recounts Rachel Crooks’ experiences since she first told her story in the months before the 2016 presidential election. She is one of 19 woman to accuse Trump of sexual misconduct they say occurred over a span of decades.
As told in the Post story, Crooks says she met Trump near the elevators on Trump Tower’s 24th floor, outside the offices of the company where she worked at the time. She describes Trump first grabbing her hand, then kissing her on the cheek and then the lips. The incident lasted about two minutes, according to Crooks.
In tweets Tuesday, Trump responded by saying the forced kissing “never happened.” He claimed he did not know, “and, to the best of my knowledge, never met” Crooks. Trump wrote that Crooks said the incident took place in the more public Trump Tower lobby, even though she has repeatedly described it as happening on the 24th floor of the building.
Trump also highlighted a story originally published in The Hill that says attorney Lisa Bloom tried to arrange compensation for some of the women who accused Trump of sexual misconduct. While Bloom did not deny this practice took place, she said the compensation was not to make them tell their stories, but rather so they could relocate or set up security if they faced backlash during a contentious election.
The story does not accuse the women of fabricating allegations against Trump, contradicting a claim he made on Tuesday.
Trump has continued to deny the allegations against him amid a national reckoning over sexual misconduct. Many congressional Democrats have called the behavior alleged by Trump’s accusers disqualifying for a president of the United States.
Several members of Congress from both major parties have resigned or decided not to run for re-election in recent months as they faced sexual misconduct accusations.
Trump famously suggested he touched women without their consent in a 2005 tape that surfaced ahead of the 2016 election.
“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,” Trump said to “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush.
“Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything,” the president later said in the recording.
The White House has repeatedly said American voters made their judgment on Trump’s behavior by electing him president.