In the midst of numerous campaign controversies surrounding both Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, the “Washington Post” released a video detailing Trump’s views on women. The conversation, recorded in 2005, includes Trump calling his attraction to beautiful women “a magnet” and saying that he “just starts kissing them” without waiting for consent. One line in particular, “grab them by the pussy,” has been particular fuel for Trump’s opponents, with both democrats and republicans alike accusing him of misogyny. Many original supporters have withdrawn their support for the candidate.
Since Oct. 7, the day the video was released, numerous women have come forward with charges ranging from forced kisses, to groping and outright rape. Trump has dismissed his remarks as “locker room talk,” but for these women, the highly charged conversation that the “Washington Post“ released provides an opening for them to discuss their alleged assault in public. These women continue to come forward with cases, ranging in date from the 1980s to just before the election itself.
Many of the cases presented share certain commonalities that could shed light on patterns in Trump’s behavior should they be proven correct. For instance, common settings for his alleged assaults occurred during “The Apprentice” taping and at his sponsored beauty pageants, Trump Tower and his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Fla. At least five teenage contestants in one pageant alone, Miss Teen USA 1997, for instance, have accused Trump of intentionally walking into their dressing rooms while they were undressing. In addition, several cases brought forward involve the sort of forced kissing that Trump describes in the recording. One case involving Natasha Stoynoff, a staff writer for “People,” states that he pinned her to the wall and “[forced] his tongue down her throat” while she was on an interview assignment. Numerous others recount similar stories.
Even his ex-wife, Ivana, has come forward as one of Trump’s accusers, stating that her relationship with Trump was one where marital rape was common. While she first reported the incident in a tell-all book in 1993, her case is being given renewed attention in the wake of this string of allegations. At the time, Trump dismissed the statements as Ivana claiming she was raped “emotionally” and that no physical assault occurred.
Trump continues to deny these accusations as they come forward, calling the women behind them “liars” who have intentionally fabricated stories to influence his approval ratings. As legal cases are in process for the reporters, Trump aims to fire back against them with lawsuits against at least a dozen of the women. In addition, threats of defamation suits have been brought against “The New York Times“ and “People” for publishing these stories. Trump has said that he aims to find out if his opponent Clinton has had a hand in bringing this scandal to light.