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Trump Blames Democrats for Stoking Sexual Misconduct Allegations

  • VOA News

President Donald Trump speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 12, 2017, in Washington. Trump blames Democrats for playing partisan politics and denies knowing any of the women who have leveled sexual misconduct accusations against him.

A group representing all Democratic women in the U.S. House of Representatives is reiterating a call for a formal congressional investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against President Donald Trump before he was in the White House.

"Simply said, Americans deserve the truth," Lois Frankel, chairwoman of the Democratic Women's Working Group, told reporters Tuesday on Capitol Hill.

The demand comes one day after the 56 representatives of the group sent a letter demanding a probe to Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy and Democrat Elijah Cummings of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

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"At least 17 women have publicly accused the president of sexual misconduct," said the group's letter, which invites the president to bring forth present evidence in his own defense. "The president's own remarks appear to back up the allegations ... he feels at liberty to perpetrate such conduct against women."

The president on Twitter Tuesday accused Democrats of playing partisan politics and denied knowing any of the women who have leveled accusations against him.

Trump also denounced New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who said Monday on CNN the "allegations are credible," and suggested Gillibrand would go beyond the bounds of generally acceptable behavior in exchange for campaign contributions.

​Gillibrand responded with a tweet of her own, saying Trump is unable to deny women the right to voice their opinions about him.

Gillibrand and five other U.S. senators have called for Trump to resign over the allegations.

Gillibrand said if Trump does not immediately resign, Congress “should have appropriate investigations of his behavior and hold him accountable.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., says President Donald Trump’s latest tweet about her was a “sexist smear” aimed at silencing her voice.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., says President Donald Trump’s latest tweet about her was a “sexist smear” aimed at silencing her voice.

The remarks are similar to calls by Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent, and Democratic Senators Mazie Hirono, Jeff Merkley, Cory Booker and Ron Wyden. All of them urged the president to step down following the announced resignations of three lawmakers: Democratic Senator Al Franken, Democratic Congressman John Conyers and Republican Congressman Trent Franks over sexual misconduct allegations.

Renewed accusations

Three women, who last year accused Donald Trump of making unwanted sexual advances, renewed their allegations Monday, saying it was time Congress investigate claims against the president in the wake of dozens of other powerful American men being held accountable for their treatment of women.

Rachel Crooks, left, Jessica Leeds, center, and Samantha Holvey attend a news conference, Dec. 11, 2017, in New York, to discuss their accusations of sexual misconduct against Donald Trump.
Rachel Crooks, left, Jessica Leeds, center, and Samantha Holvey attend a news conference, Dec. 11, 2017, in New York, to discuss their accusations of sexual misconduct against Donald Trump.

Rachel Crooks, who accused Trump of forcibly kissing her 12 years ago when she worked as a receptionist at his Trump Tower business headquarters in New York, said lawmakers should "put aside their party affiliations and investigate Mr. Trump's history of sexual misconduct."

She appeared alongside the two other Trump accusers at a New York news conference: Samantha Holvey, who alleged that Trump walked uninvited into a backstage dressing area where she and others were in various states of undress at a 2012 beauty pageant Trump owned, and Jessica Leeds, who accused Trump of groping her when she sat next to him on a commercial airline flight in the late 1970s.

During last year's presidential campaign, more than a dozen women accused Trump of sexual misconduct extending over several decades, but he denied all the accusations, and said that an explicit 2005 taped comment of him boasting of groping women was merely "locker room talk."

The White House again rejected the allegations.

"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," the White House said. "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."

Later, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, "We feel these allegations have been answered" by the results of the 2016 election. "The American people knew this and voted for the president."

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