U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump looks on during a campaign rally in Prescott Valley, Ariz., Oct. 4, 2016.
Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

As more accusers come forward, Trump presents a new defense

Updated
After several women this week came forward to accuse Donald Trump of sexual misconduct, many wondered whether or not others would raise additional allegations. It didn’t take long to find out.

Today, a woman named Kristin Anderson told the Washington Post about an incident from the 1990s in which, she alleges, Trump slid his fingers “under her miniskirt, moved up her inner thigh, and touched her vagina through her underwear.” Though Anderson “recounted the story to people she knew” over the years, and it’s consistent with Trump’s own recorded boasts about his private behavior, a spokesperson for the Republican’s campaign said he “strongly denies this phony allegation.”

Soon after, Summer Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice,” held a press conference to claim that Trump sexually accosted her at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

As for the GOP ticket, Trump said yesterday, “We already have substantial evidence to dispute these lies and it will be made public in an appropriate way at an appropriate time very soon.” Mike Pence added this morning we should expect this evidence “before the day is out.”

So far, the Republican campaign, which continues to deny the veracity of the allegations, doesn’t appear to have come up with much in terms of evidence disputing the claims brought forward by Trump’s accusers. The candidate did, however, offer this.
Trump went further to say he’d never met these people, despite one of the accusers, Natasha Stoynoff, having done an in-person interview with Trump and his wife Melania early in their marriage. Trump flatly called Stoynoff “a liar” and directed the crowd to “check out her Facebook page - you’ll understand.”

Trump said another accuser, Jessica Leeds, who alleges Trump groped her on an airplane thirty years ago, “Would not be his first choice.”

“When you looked at that horrible woman last night,” Trump said in an apparent reference to her appearance on CNN, “you said, I don’t think so, I don’t think so.
The not-so-subtle implication was that Trump doesn’t find one of his accusers physically attractive, so we shouldn’t believe her claims of sexual assault.

The GOP nominee went on to say today that a Mexican billionaire should be blamed, at least in part, for the allegations, and that when Hillary Clinton walked in front of him during the second presidential debate, “believe me, I wasn’t impressed.”

With 25 days remaining before Election Day, Donald Trump is no longer being subtle about his misogyny. The Republican has no use for subtext, relying instead of text, and transitioning to an overtly misogynistic message to voters.

No modern major-party presidential candidate has been quite so brazen about disrespecting American women as the Republicans’ 2016 candidate. Voters may recall rhetoric about the GOP’s “war on women” from recent years, but that rhetoric has effectively disappeared – not because it’s no longer true, but because it no longer seems adequate in describing Trump’s ugly campaign message.

Trump’s allies, staffers, and surrogates aren’t much better. Asked earlier on MSNBC whether the allegations against Trump are accurate, Ben Carson said, “It doesn’t matter whether [the women accusers are] lying or not.”

As for the exculpatory evidence the campaign promised “before the day is out,” so far, Team Trump has presented nothing.

Update: The Trump campaign directed the New York Post, a conservative tabloid, to a witness who’s disputing the claims one of Trump’s accusers. I guess this is the evidence Pence was referring to this morning?



Ben Carson, Donald Trump and War On Women

As more accusers come forward, Trump presents a new defense

Updated