WASHINGTON — Three women who have accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct or inappropriate behavior appeared on “Megyn Kelly Today” on Monday to reiterate their claims and call for some kind of reckoning amid the #MeToo movement.
The women appear in a new documentary short video about Trump’s accusers, called “16 Women and Donald Trump,” from progressive filmmaker Robert Greenwald, and appeared at a press conference with him later in the day. The women called for Congress to conduct an ethics investigation of allegations against Trump, and also suggested that he should resign.
“I would like to see some reckoning, that he is not made of Teflon, that he acknowledges in some fashion and is called on to answer for the charges,” Jessica Leeds said on “Today.”
The documentary short refers to the 16 women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct.
During the presidential campaign, Leeds told The New York Times that in the early 1980s, she was on a New York-bound flight and was seated in first class next to Trump.
“All of the sudden he was all over me, kissing and groping,” she said on “Today.” Then, she said, he put his hand up her skirt, and “I managed to wiggle out. I grabbed my purse and went to the back of the airplane.”
A couple of years later, she saw Trump at a Humane Society charity event, and identified herself, he remembered her. He called her the “c” word, Leeds told “Today.”
Samantha Holvey recounted her story of the 2006 Miss USA Pageant, which the Trump Organization owned at the time, and how Trump would line up all of the contestants to look them over in what she described as a demeaning way. Holvey, who was Miss North Carolina USA, said that she felt like “I was just a piece of meat.”
At one point Trump came backstage as the women competing were in the hair and makeup room, something that made them uncomfortable, Holvey said. “He comes in like he owns the place and owns you,” she said.
Trump told Howard Stern on Stern’s radio show in 2005 that he would inspect the dressing rooms “because I’m the owner of the pageant.” He told Stern that he could ask, “‘Is everyone OK?’ You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ‘Is everybody OK?’ And you see these incredible-looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that.”
Holvey also came forward to tell her story during the 2016 campaign, but said that she was distraught when he was sworn into office.
“It was just a tough day because it was like the entire country said, ‘We don’t care that he is like this,'” Holvey said.
Also appearing on “Today” was Rachel Crooks, who also came forward during the campaign. She recounted her story of working as a receptionist for a company that had offices in Trump Tower.
She said that in 2005, having often spotted Trump using a nearby elevator bank, she decided to introduce herself.
He gave her a double cheek kiss, but then kept kissing her. “He kissed me on the lips and I was shocked. I ran back into the office and I remember hiding in my boss’s office. I called my sister and said, ‘I don’t know what happened. It is just horrible.'”
She said that she didn’t make a big deal of it to her employer because she feared losing her job as her company, a development firm, did extensive business with the Trump Organization.
Trump later came into the office and asked for her phone number, she said, and she asked, “What do you need that for?” Trump told her he would pass it along to his modeling agency, but they never called her.
The White House has dismissed the women’s claims, and did so again on Monday.
“These 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,” a White House spokesperson told “Today.” “The timing and absurdity of these false claims speaks volumes and the publicity tour that has begun only forth confirms the political motives behind them.”
At the press conference, Leeds said that it has been particularly notable that the allegations against Trump have not gotten the same attention as those of others in media, politics and other industries in recent weeks. The #MeToo movement, launched in the wake of allegations against Harvey Weinstein, has “been like an explosion in a shingle factory. Things were flying all over the place,” Leeds said.
“People were being held accountable, except for our president,” she said.
They also expressed dismay over Trump’s endorsement of Roy Moore, the Republican running for Senate in Alabama. Moore has been accused to sexual assault and pursuing sexual relations with underage teen girls. He has denied the claims.
“The endorsement is disgusting, absolutely disgusting,” Holvey said.
Crooks said, “Nothing shocks or surprises me about Trump anymore,” adding that in emerging victorious even after sexual misconduct claims, “he is passing the torch to Roy Moore to do the same.”
Later on Monday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Trump “has addressed these accusations directly and denied all of these allegations. And this took place long before he was elected president. And the people of this country, at a decisive election, supported President Trump, and we feel like these allegations have been answered through that process.”
She also said that there were multiple eyewitness reports refuting the women’s allegations, but she did not immediately provide specific examples.