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Women accuse Donald Trump of sexual harassment

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New York: A group of women who have publicly accused Donald Trump of sexual harassment and assault, have detailed their accounts of being groped, fondled and forcibly kissed by the US President, the media reported.

“This was serial misconduct and perversion on the part of Trump. Unfortunately, this behaviour isn’t rare in our society, and people of all backgrounds can be victims. The only reason I am here today is that this offender is now the President of our country,” Rachel Crooks, a former Bayrock Group receptionist who accused the President of kissing her on the mouth without her consent in 2005, said at a press conference on Monday.

Samantha Holvey, the former Miss North Carolina 2006 who has accused Trump of inspecting beauty pageant contestants, and Jessica Leeds, who said the President of grabbing her chest and attempting to move his hand up her skirt on a flight, also appeared with Crooks at the conference, reports CNN.

Brave New Films, a production company that released a film on the women who have accused Trump of sexual assault, hosted the event.

At least 15 women have come forward with a wide range of accusations against Trump, ranging from sexual harassment and sexual assault to lewd behaviour around women.

In addition to the woman at Monday’s press conference, Trump’s accusers include Temple Taggart, the former Miss Utah USA who accused Trump of kissing her on the lips in 1997; Mindy McGillivray, who accused Trump of grabbing her behind at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida in 2003 and Natasha Stoynoff, who accused Trump of “forcing his tongue” down her throat during a photo shoot at Mar-a-Lago in 2005.

Crooks called on Congress to “put aside party affiliations and investigate Trump’s history of sexual misconduct”, reports CNN.

“In an objective setting, without question, a person with this record would have entered the graveyard of political aspirations, never to return… Yet here we are with that man as President.”

Leeds added that while some areas of society were “being held accountable for unwanted behaviour… We are not holding our President accountable for what he is and who he is”.

On Monday night, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that the allegations took place “long before he was elected president” and that Trump has “addressed these accusations directly and denied all of these allegations”.

Sanders also claimed that “eyewitnesses” have backed up Trump’s denials.

“The President has denied these allegations, as have eyewitnesses.

“Several reports have shown those eyewitnesses also back up the President’s claim in this process and again, the American people knew this and voted for the President and we feel like we are ready to move forward in that process.”

On Sunday, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said that women who accuse a man of inappropriate sexual behaviour including Trump “should be heard”, CNN reported.

The renewed focus on Trump’s accusers comes as Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore fights to win a Republican seat, despite accusations that he pursued relationships with teenagers, including molesting a 14-year-old and sexually assaulting a 16-year-old when he was in his 30s.

Moore has denied all the allegations and Trump has stood by Moore despite the accusations.

(IANS)

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