Allegations Against Trump Begin to Snowball

Women come forward, and media outlets pounce
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 13, 2016 5:28 AM CDT
Updated Oct 13, 2016 6:32 AM CDT
Trump Accused of 'Creepy' Behavior at Pageants
Donald Trump kisses a "Women for Trump" sign during a campaign rally Wednesday in Lakeland, Fla.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Sexual misconduct allegations against Donald Trump started to snowball Wednesday, with four women coming forward to say he had groped or forced himself on them—and teen beauty pageant contestants accusing him of what they call creepy behavior. Former Miss Vermont Teen USA Mariah Billado is one of several contestants from 1997 who remembers Trump walking into the dressing room when girls as young as 15 were changing, BuzzFeed reports. "I remember putting on my dress really quick because I was like, 'Oh my God, there's a man in here,'" says Billado. She recalls Trump saying, "Don't worry, ladies, I've seen it all before." A roundup of coverage:

  • Former Miss Arizona Tasha Dixon told CBS Los Angeles this week that she recalls Trump strolling into the room when Miss USA contestants were changing into bikinis. "There was no second to put a robe on or any sort of clothing or anything," she says. "Some girls were topless. Other girls were naked."

  • A Miss USA 2001 contestant tells the Guardian that she remembers Trump barging in while she and another contestant were getting dressed—despite being told by security that they were naked. "He walked in, he stood and he stared," she says. "He was doing it because he knew that he could."
  • Rolling Stone has a timeline of alleged creepy behavior from Trump's many years as a pageant owner. The magazine notes that he bragged about going into dressing rooms and ogling contestants in a 2005 interview with Howard Stern. "I'm allowed to go in because I'm the owner of the pageant and therefore I'm inspecting it," he said. "You know, I'm inspecting because I want to make sure that everything is good."
  • CBS News has unearthed video of a 1992 Entertainment Tonight Christmas special, in which Trump speaks to a 10-year-old girl, then says to the camera: "I am going to be dating her in 10 years. Can you believe it?"
  • The Trump campaign has called the groping accusations "completely false." The Washington Post reports that on the campaign trail Wednesday, before the latest allegations surfaced, Trump attacked both Hillary Clinton and Republicans who have abandoned him, including Paul Ryan, who has said he is done with defending Trump. "There's a whole sinister deal going on" with Ryan, Trump said at a rally in Florida, vowing to "figure it out." He also said Clinton—and her lawyers—have to go to jail over her email scandal.
  • Politico reports that Trump campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson told CNN's Don Lemon Wednesday night that women are only accusing Trump of misconduct because they want "15 minutes of fame." On CNN, Pierson suggested one new accuser was lying because of the configuration of airplane armrests decades ago, but Vox says she's wrong.
(Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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