As promised, three of about a dozen women who have previously accused President Trump of sexual misconduct went on Megyn Kelly Today to restate their cases Monday. The reason? As one of them, Samantha Holvey explains, the women were "hurt" when they came forward to accuse candidate Trump, only to be met with indifference. Now that he's president, and now that the #MeToo movement is on fire, Holvey says it's time to reassess. "And so now it's just like all right, let’s try round two," she says, per the Hill. "The environment’s different, let's try again." Details and developments:
- Denial: Trump has previously denied the allegations, and he has not yet responded to the renewed charges. But Kelly read a White House statement reiterating Trump's earlier denials. "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," says the statement, per Politico. "The timing and absurdity of these claims speaks volumes. And the publicity tour that has begun only further confirms the political motives behind them."
- Monday's four: Holvey was joined by Jessica Leeds and Rachel Crooks on the show and at a later news conference in which they called for a congressional investigation into Trump's actions. A fourth woman, Lisa Boyne, joined the news conference by speakerphone, reports HuffPo. Holvey accuses Trump of ogling her and other contestants in a dressing room at the 2006 Miss USA Pageant; Crooks says Trump forcibly kissed her repeatedly at Trump Tower in 2005 when she was 22; Leeds says Trump groped her on a plane more than three decades ago; and Boyne accuses him of looking up women's skirts and other lewd behavior in a restaurant in the mid-1990s.
- Quotes: Leeds, per NBC News: "When [Trump's] hand started going up my skirt—I’m not a small person—I managed to wiggle out and stand up, grab my purse and I went to the back of the airplane." Crooks: "It happened so fast, I guess, and I wish I would’ve been courageous enough to be like, 'What’s going on and you need to stop this.'" Holvey: "I just felt so gross. Just looking me over like I was a piece of meat." Boyne: "What he's acknowledged, what he's made appropriate culturally is a thousand times worse than anything Al Franken has done."
- Studio/video: The women's news conference was hosted by Brave New Films, a new studio "organized for progressive issues," reports Time. The studio has put out a video titled 16 Women and Donald Trump, in which the women detail their encounters. The video is here. Breitbart News is dismissive of the studio, calling it a "liberal documentary team backed by George Soros, featuring documentaries on liberal targets like the Koch Brothers, Fox News, and Rush Limbaugh."
- What's next: At CNN, Chris Cillizza writes that the renewed allegations, the charged new environment, and UN ambassador Nikki Haley's comments that the women deserve to be heard may make it impossible for Trump to ignore all this. Expect more Democrats to join Cory Booker in calling for Trump to resign, he predicts. The president won't do that, of course, but these developments seem likely "to force Trump's hand to go beyond his original statements on his accusers."
- Lawsuit ongoing: One of Trump's other accusers, Summer Zervos, has filed a defamation suit against Trump after he branded the women as liars. That case is currently in the New York state court system, and it's possible Trump may have to testify, reports Business Insider.
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