[WATCH] Trump accusers demand Congress investigate sexual misconduct claims

Three women first came forward during the 2016 presidential election, accusing Trump of unwanted kissing and groping

Rachel Crooks (left), Jessica Leeds and Samantha Holvey speak at news conference (Photo: the Sun)
Rachel Crooks (left), Jessica Leeds and Samantha Holvey speak at news conference (Photo: the Sun)

 

A group of women, who have accused US president Donald Trump of sexually inappropriate behavior on Monday, demanded that Congress open an investigation.

The women first came forward during the 2016 presidential election, with Rachel Crooks, Jessica Leeds and Samantha Holvey making the accusations.

Leeds and Crooks accused Trump of unwanted groping and kissing and Holvey claimed that Trump barged into a Miss USA dressing room, while he partly owned the beauty pageant.

More than a dozen women have accused Trump of sexual assault and even more of sexually inappropriate behavior. Trump denied all claims and the White House said that all the women making allegations against Trump are not being truthful.

Leeds, Crooks and Holvey are sharing their stories again, in the hope that under the banner of the #MeToo movement, they will have a greater impact.

“Let’s try round two,” said Holvey on Monday, appearing on NBC’s Today Show. “The environment’s different, let’s try again.”

Just hours later, at a press conference at the Lexington Hotel in New York, Holvey said that lawmakers should extend the same scrutiny to Trump they did to Al Franken, the Minnesota senator who faced an ethics investigation before he resigned his seat over claims of unwanted kissing and groping.

“I think it’s only fair that [Trump] be investigated as well,” said Holvey.

“The investigation by Congress is probably the only thing we can ask for,” said Crooks.

One Democrat, the New York senator Kristen Gillibrand, called on Donald Trump to step down.

“President Trump should resign,” said Gillibrand.

“These allegations are credible, they are numerous. I’ve heard these women’s testimony, and many of them are heartbreaking.”

Gillibrand said that if Trump refused to “immediately” resign, Congress should investigate and “hold him accountable.”

White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, was asked at the press briefing on Monday afternoon regarding the accusers’ decision to come forward again. The allegations dated from “long before [Trump] was elected president,” said Sanders, adding that: “The people of this country, in a decisive election, supported President Trump.”

“The president has addressed these accusations directly and denied all of these allegations,” Sanders added.

The press secretary was unable to provide any evidence to discredit the allegations, instead relying on Trump’s denials.

“The president has first-hand knowledge on what he did or didn’t do,” she said.

Crooks, Holvey and Leeds, who claims Trump jumped on her and started pawing her whole the two were seated near each other on a plane, are the first to publicly renew their claims amidst a new, national reckoning with sexual assault.

Another woman, who did not make an allegation before the election, recently came forward.

Juliet Huddy, former Fox News host claimed Trump attempted to kiss her in the Trump Tower elevator after a business lunch.

“Now I have matured, I think I would say, Woah, no’, but at the time I was younger and I was a little shocked,” Huddy said.

“I thought maybe he didn’t mean to do it, but I was kind of making excuses,” she added.

Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said on Sunday that Trump’s accusers should be heard.

“I know that he was elected,” she said. “But, you know, women should always feel comfortable coming forward and we should all be willing to listen to them.”

When asked on Monday if she agreed with Haley’s comments, Sanders responded by saying “The American people knew this and voted for him.”

Sanders also declined to say if defending her boss against allegations of sexual misconduct was difficult.

“I’m here to speak on behalf of the president,” she said

While Trump’s accusers were on the Today Show, the White House released a statement to NBC.

“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,” read the statement.

“The timing and absurdity of these false claims speaks volumes and the publicity tour that has begun only further confirms the political motives behind them.”

Many of Trump’s accusers, contrary to the statement, were not publicly contradicted by eyewitnesses.

“I’m just hoping it continues forward and it grows,” said Leeds about the #MeToo movement.

“I am hoping this will produce enough pressure on Congress to address it more than just for their own members, but address it in the presidency.

“None of us want this attention,” she added. “None of us are comfortable with it.”

“We’re private citizens,” added Holvey. “And for us to put outselves out there to try and show America who this man is and especially how he views women – for them to say, ‘Meh, we don’t care,’ it hurt.”

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