Feb 20, 2018 - Politics & Policy

Trump dismisses alleged 2006 sexual misconduct incident

President Trump addressed one of the sexual misconduct allegations against him in a tweet Tuesday, responding to a Washington Post feature on Rachel Crooks, who claims that Trump forcibly kissed her in Trump Tower in 2006, and her place in the wider #MeToo movement.

Crooks claims that Trump kissed her outside of the elevators on the 24th floor — not in the building's main lobby. From WaPo: "During one news conference, [Crooks] had asked Trump to release the security videotapes from the 24th floor that day, but he never responded. She had not heard from him, or anyone representing him, since she came home from New York."

Trump is referencing a story originally reported by The Hill, which claims that lawyer Lisa Bloom arranged financial payments from donors for two Trump accusers. (Crooks was not one of them.) And Bloom defended those accusations in a statement to Snopes:

"Most people do not get paid for interviews.... When my client is a single mother, unemployed, in dire need of therapy, on the verge of bankruptcy or all of the above, she may choose to do an interview with the outlet that will compensate her. A few thousand dollars hardly levels the playing field against a billionaire like Donald Trump, but it helps a little, and I leave that decision to my client, after she’s been fully vetted for veracity."

One more thing: Contrary to the claims in Trump's tweet, mainstream outlets have reported on the fact that partisans might seek to exploit the career-ending potential of the #MeToo movement, like this deep-dive New York Times report from late last year.

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