Vicky Spratt | Deputy Editor | Thursday, 13 October 2016

Donald Trump Faces Fresh Sexual Assault Allegations

Donald Trump Faces Fresh Sexual Assault Allegations

The Debrief: The number of women who have stepped forward to claim that they have been assaulted by the Republican nominee for President is growing

‘Just for the record,’ Anderson Cooper asked Donald Trump, during the presidential debate last Sunday, ‘are you saying … that you did not actually kiss women without [their] consent?’

‘I have not,’ Trump insisted.

This week began with Sunday night’s presidential debate, which took place in the shadow of revelatory tapes of Donald Trump making lewd, sexually aggressive and misogynistic comments about women.

Spurious policies and shallow deflection when asked about detail were the main features of Trump’s debate performance. However, he was at least clear on one thing: yes, he had boasted about kissing women without their consent and advocated ‘grabbing ‘em by the pussy’ but no, he had never actually done any of this stuff. It was just banter…you know…‘locker room talk’. He denied allegations of impropriety, in no uncertain terms on an international stage.

Trump’s campaign has been reeling since the video of him speaking in such a sexist and derogatory way emerged. Damage limitation has been the order of the day in an attempt to preserve Teflon Trump, a man for whom criticism and wrong doing has hitherto been like water of a duck’s back.

However, with the emergence of fresh allegations about sexually inappropriate and uninvited behaviour it’s starting to look like this one might just (here’s hoping) stick to Donald Trump.

In what can only be described as an explosive and damning exclusive report from The New York Times two women spoke out about their experiences of Trump’s unwanted sexual advances in incidents spanning the last few decades. His campaign have denied the stories, calling them ‘fiction’. Trump himself has taken to Twitter to defend himself.

By late Wednesday night the list of allegations against the Republican presidential nominee included the following: 

  • Not one but two Miss USA contestants who claim that Trump deliberately walked in on them while they were naked in a dressing room.
  • Mindy McGillivray, who claims that Trump groped her during a photoshoot at his Mar-a-Lago estate in 2003.
  • People magazine reporter, Natasha Stoynoff, who says that Trump groped her when she went to interview him for a story in 2005.
  • Jessica Leeds, now 73, says that after meeting Trump on an airplane in the 1980s he began to grope her. ‘He was like an octopus’ she told the New York Times, ‘his hands were everywhere.’

CBS news have also unearthed footage from Entertainment Tonight’s 1992 Christmas special which shows Trump sexualising a young girl in her early teens on an escalator at Trump Tower. Turning to the camera he says, ‘I am going to be dating her in 10 years. Can you believe it?’

So far, so damning. These serious allegations against a man who currently has all of his energies and finances channelled into getting him into the White House must be handled very sensitively and taken very seriously. But has it had any effect on Trump whatsoever? Polls suggest that his approval ratings have taken a serious dive this week.

On Monday many hailed the release of the tapes as signalling the end of Trump’s campaign. It’s now Thursday and, as more women come forward to speak about their experiences, he is showing no signs whatsoever of giving up, nor does he seem inclined to respond to the very serious allegations being made against him. Instead he has used women who allege that Bill Clinton sexually abused them to deflect attention from himself and threatened reporters and newspapers who publish accusations of misconduct on his part with legal action. That’s right, he is throwing money at the problem and hiding behind the stories of women who may or may not have been mistreated by his opponent’s husband.

The implications of Donald Trump on a global stage have serious implications for many reasons. The Debrief spoke to the End Violence Against Women Coalition about what it means for the ongoing fight for women’s rights and women’s safety.

Rachel Krys, co-director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition told The Debrief:

‘The views expressed by Donald Trump in the tape released last week confirm what has been clear throughout the presidential campaign, that he expects women around him to be attractive to him and to be subservient to him. He also revealed that he knows the power he holds allows him to act with impunity, deterring potential victims or bystanders from challenging him. And now he is running for the most powerful office in the world.’

As to whether a man who so flagrantly and unashamedly holds misogynistic attitudes and may or may not have acted in accordance with them can feasibly become President of the United States, Rachel notes that Obama has taken direct action on 'campus rape'. On the epidemic of sexual assaults and harassment in US universities she says: ‘this is an urgent matter which saw Obama tell universities that their federal funding was at risk if they did not act. If Trump were President and were presented with a similar issue, might he regard the whole thing as a bit of “locker room banter” that women students should put up with.’

‘Candidates for any high political office need to demonstrate that they understand the specific threats to women and girls in public and private spaces and that they are willing to act’ she added.

Donald Trump continues to campaign for the Presidency and attempt to defend the indefensible. Meanwhile the list of allegations against him continues to grow and the list of those willing to publically defend Trump dwindles (apart from our old friend Nigel Farage, of course).

 You might also be interested in:

Here's Why The Way Mainstream Media Is Reporting On Donald Trump Is A Complete, Total And Utter Screw Up

Your Need To Know On Donald Trump's 'Grab 'Em By The Pussy' Line

Meet The Young American Women Who Actually Support Donald Trump

Follow Vicky on Twitter @Victoria_Spratt

Tags: WTF News, Sexual Assault, USA, US Election 2016