Donald Trump

Trump Attacks Sen. Gillibrand Amid Accusations of Sexual Misconduct; She Calls It a ‘Sexist Smear'

Another accuser of Trump's appeared on "Megyn Kelly Today" Tuesday, saying he groped her rear end at a concert at his Florida estate Mar-a-Lago more than a decade ago

What to Know

  • Sixteen women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct over the years, allegations that he has repeatedly denied
  • Some of the women will take part in a press conference in New York Monday in which they will talk about their experiences
  • The #MeToo movement has seen numerous women coming forward with allegations against high-profile men

President Donald Trump lashed out at Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Tuesday, after she said Trump should resign over recent sexual misconduct allegations. Gillibrand called it a "sexist smear" while Democrats rallied around her.

Trump was pushing back against the women accusing him of sexual misconduct, insisting he's the target of "false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don't know and/or have never met."

Three women who previously accused Trump of sexual harassment had shared their stories on NBC's "Megyn Kelly Today" on Monday, their accusations getting a new focus as the #MeToo movement highlights sexual misconduct in workplaces from Hollywood to Washington.

Trump said Democrats "have been unable to show any collusion with Russia" and now are "moving on" to these allegations. He added: "FAKE NEWS!"

In a second tweet, Trump said Gillibrand is a "total flunky for Chuck Schumer," the Senate Democratic leader. He said Gillibrand, "who would come to my office 'begging' for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump."

Gillibrand tweeted back with a defiant message of her own: "You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office."

She called Trump's attack "a sexist smear" when asked at an unrelated news conference what she thought about it.

"It's part of the president's effort of name-calling, and it's not going to silence me," Gillibrand said.

Other prominent women in politics spoke out against Trump's broadside.

On her MSNBC show "Morning Joe," Mika Brzezinski called it sexual harassment in its own right, reading it as suggesting that the senator would have sex for campaign contributions. She called on members of the White House to demand he apologize or resign.

"That tweet was one of the worst things I've seen so far in this presidency," said Brzezinski, whose appearance Trump criticized in a widely criticized tweet earlier this year.

On Twitter, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., wished Trump good luck with "trying to bully, intimidate and slut-shame" Gillibrand.

And the National Women's Law Center tweeted, "This is what sexual harassment in the workplace looks like."

Asked if his tweet was sexual innuendo or sexist, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the comments were simply about the broken political system that Trump has pledged to fix and was in "no way" sexist.

"He's used similar terminology many times when talking about politicians of both parties, both men and women," she said. "This president is someone that can't be bought."

“Only if your mind is in the gutter would you have read it that way,” she said later when asked to respond to people who read the tweet as containing sexual innuendo.

Rep. Pete King, R-NY, responded to Trump's tweet about Gillibrand in an appearance on the Fox Business channel, saying "the president would be better advised not to get into fights with all these people."

Another accuser of Trump's appeared on "Megyn Kelly Today" Tuesday, saying he groped her rear end at a concert at his Florida estate Mar-a-Lago more than a decade ago, when she was 23 years old.

"He knew what he did. I could see it on his face, the look of guilt," Melinda McGillivray said. "It made me feel like I was objectified, I was sick to my stomach."

A friend who was there corroborated her account to The Palm Beach Post in October 2016. Trump's campaign did not respond to comment from the outlet at the time.

Asked about Gillivray's comments, the White House referred to Sanders' comments from Monday about the other women who appeared on "Megyn Kelly Today."

"Look, the president has addressed these accusations directly and denied all of these allegations," Sanders said.

McGillivray joined the other three women who spoke to Kelly — Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Crooks — in urging Congress to investigate Trump's behavior.

Sanders pledged to provide a list of eyewitnesses whose accounts exonerated the president. She did not provide the list by late Monday.

The allegations surfaced during last year's presidential campaign, but the women raised the issue anew on the Kelly show Monday and at a news conference.

Sixteen women have come forward with a range of accusations against Trump, many after the release of the "Access Hollywood" tape last October in which Trump was caught on an open microphone bragging about groping women. One woman, Summer Zervos, a contestant on Trump's reality show, "The Apprentice," sued, contending that Trump's denials of her accusations amount to false and defamatory statements.

The Democratic Women's Working Group held a news conference Wednesday to demand that the House Oversight Committee investigate sexual misconduct allegations against Trump. Republican lawmakers, who control both houses of Congress, have suggested that such a probe was unlikely.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., said at the news conference that Trump's tweet was "grotesque."

"It took my breath away and it represents the conduct of a person who is ill-equipped to be the president of the United States," she said.

NBC's Asher Klein contributed to this report.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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