Trump Accusers Call for Congressional Probe Into His Alleged Sexual Misconduct
Several women who have accused President Trump of sexual misconduct are again speaking out, this time asking for a congressional investigation as the "Me Too" movement sweeps the country.
Samantha Holvey, Rachel Crooks and Jessica Leeds appeared at a New York City press conference Monday in an event sponsored by Brave New Films, a non-profit organization that makes movies and media packages about social injustice.
Robert Greenwald, the group's president, said 16 women are featured in a video, all of them detailing similar experiences of unwanted sexual contact with Trump.
"We know better, we know a lot better," Greenwald said. "Predators and harassers must be held accountable."
Crooks called on Congress members to "put aside party affiliations and investigate Trump's history of sexual misconduct," describing his behavior as "serial misconduct and perversion."
She said Trump held onto her hand and kissed her repeatedly, including on the mouth, while she was working as a receptionist at Trump Tower in 2005.
"I was shocked, devastated," she said Monday. "I remember hiding in our boss' office because no one else was there, it was early in the morning, and I called my sister. I felt horrible."
Samantha Holvey says when she was in Trump's 2006 Miss USA pageant, the real estate mogul came backstage without warning as contestants were wearing only robes.
"I just felt so gross," she said, adding that Trump sized her up "like a piece of meat."
Holvey and several other women have come forward with claims that the president had groped and kissed them against their will while he was a private citizen. Their allegations were dismissed as "lies" by Trump and he went on to win the presidential election.
But the downfall of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and other men, including three members of Congress who resigned last week, prompted the women to again speak up.
“It was heartbreaking last year when we all — we’re private citizens — for us to put ourselves out there to try to show America who this man is and especially how he views women and for them to say, ‘Meh, we don’t care,’” Holvey said. “It hurt.”
A White House statement Monday dismissed the women's allegations as false.
“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,” the statement read.
Leeds repeated her accusation that Trump groped her during an flight in the 1980s. As she told The New York Times last year, Leeds said he kissed and grabbed her and then tried to put his hand up her skirt. She managed to get free and went to the back of the jetliner, she said.
At an October rally on the campaign trail last year, Trump denied the incident and suggested that Leeds was not attractive.
"People that are willing to say, 'Oh, I was with Donald Trump in 1980, I was sitting with him on an airplane, and he went after me,'" Trump said. "Believe me, she would not be my first choice."
The women also appeared on NBC's Megyn Kelly Today.
Their appearance came one day after Nikki Haley, the Trump-appointed U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said the president's accusers should be listened to.
"They should be heard, and they should be dealt with," Haley said Sunday on CBS' Face the Nation.
"And I think we heard from them prior to the election. And I think any woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up."