PEOPLE Editor in Chief Jess Cagle says in a statement about Stoynoff's piece, "In this week's issue of PEOPLE (which hits newsstands in New York on Wednesday), we feature a story that includes named sources who can corroborate Natasha Stoynoff's account...."Five other witnesses also back up Stoynoff's account of her encounter with Trump.
Donald Trump's supporters have pushed a variety of arguments in response to women who've accused him of sexual misconduct, with the candidate himself suggesting at least one of his accusers wasn't attractive enough to molest. But one of the more common lines is predictable: anyone can raise allegations, but without evidence, the claims are suspect.At face value, it's hardly a ridiculous argument. Trump is a major-party presidential candidate with many critics, and when someone raises allegations of serious wrongdoing, it's fair to evaluate the claims, consider the accuser's credibility, review Trump's record, and look for some kind of corroboration.In this case, it's a dynamic that may work against the Republican nominee, who has denied any wrongdoing. Not only did Trump admit on tape to doing what these women have accused him of doing, but in some cases, the women's allegations have been bolstered by witnesses who say they were told about the incidents at the time.People magazine's Natasha Stoynoff, for example, has said Trump attacked her in 2005 in Florida after a photo shoot. The GOP candidate denied the claims and complained about Stoynoff's appearance. Yesterday, People pushed back, defending Stoynoff and publishing a piece quoting "six colleagues and close friends who corroborate" her account.
One of the purported witnesses remembers receiving a call from Stoynoff the day after the alleged incident, and during the conversation she "detailed everything about the attack."Though Trump and his aides continue to insist this and other accusations aren't true, the People piece quotes Stoynoff concluding, "I assume I am one of many, many women" who had similar experiences with Trump.People, it's worth noting for context, has one of the widest circulations of any magazine in the United States. The fact that this report will be reaching the magazine's readers so soon before Election Day probably isn't good news for the Republican candidate.