Trump Accusers Speak Out, Demand Congressional Investigation

by Valerie Williams
Image via Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Three of Trump’s accusers urged Congress to act at a press conference this morning

Donald Trump has been president for a full year and in the wake of multiple allegations post-Harvey Weinstein, some of the women who made accused the president of sexual harassment and assault in 2016 are speaking out about their experiences again. This time, in hopes that there will be a full investigation by Congress of sexual misconduct by the president.

Before Trump was elected, over a dozen women came forward accusing the then-candidate of sexual harassment, groping, making lewd remarks, and sexual assault. It was in the wake of the Access Hollywood tapes where Trump boasted of kissing women and grabbing them by their genitals without their consent that many of these alleged victims told their stories to prove it wasn’t just “locker room talk.” The accusations span a number of years and prove a pattern of behavior, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Trump from winning the election.

That’s why a few of the accusers spoke at a press conference today hosted by Brave New Films — to demand that President Trump be held accountable for his long history of alleged sexual misconduct.

Brave New Films is the creator of a video released last month called 16 Women and Donald Trump where 16 of the president’s accusers tell their stories once again in the hopes that Congress will do the right thing and investigate. Senator Al Franken resigned last week after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct, so now, many are wondering why Trump isn’t doing the same. And they’re not staying quiet about it.

The three women who spoke at the press conference are Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey, and Rachel Crooks. Leeds says Trump groped her on an airplane in the 1970s. Holvey was a contestant in the Miss America pageant in 2006 when Trump came into the dressing room while some women where naked or half-clothed. She says he “inspected” her and other contestants like they were “a piece of meat.” Crooks was a Trump Tower receptionist in 2005 when the president kissed her full on the mouth without consent.

“We’re private citizens, and for us to put ourselves out there to try and show America who this man is and especially how he views women, and for them to say ‘meh, we don’t care,’ it hurts,” Holvey said to Megyn Kelly during a TODAY show appearance this morning. “And so now it’s just like, alright, let’s try round two. The environment’s different. Let’s try again.”

By the environment she means the world post-Weinstein where men are being forced to answer for their alleged instances of sexual misconduct, but it seems the president, so far, is beyond reproach.

During the press conference, Crooks urged Congress to “put aside party affiliations and investigate Trump’s history of sexual misconduct.” Leeds expressed hope that the #metoo movement will inspire Congress to act. “I am hoping that this will come forward and produce enough pressure on Congress to address it more than just for their own members but to address it with the president,” she said.

In addition, Democratic senators Cory Booker, of New Jersey, and Jeff Merkley, of Oregon, are calling for Trump to do as Franken did and resign from office. Even Trump administration United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley recently spoke in support of the accusers. “They should be heard and they should be dealt with. 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.”

The White House released a statement to Kelly today about the women coming forward once again. “The 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,” reads 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.”

Holvey says, “They’ve investigated other Congress members so I think it only stands fair he be investigated as well.”