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Women accusing Trump of sexual misconduct seek congressional probe

  • Published at 08:15 pm December 12th, 2017
Women accusing Trump of sexual misconduct seek congressional probe

Three women who have accused US President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct called on Monday for a congressional investigation into his behaviour amid a wave of similar accusations against prominent men in Hollywood, the media and politics.

Over the past two years, more than a dozen women have accused Trump of making unwanted sexual advances against them years before he entered politics.

Three of his accusers, Jessica Leeds, Rachel Crooks, and Samantha Holvey said at a news conference on Monday that the accusations warranted new consideration given the broader discussion of sexual harassment in US society.

Brave New Films, a nonprofit filmmaker, produced a video featuring 16 of Trump's accusers and organized the news conference in New York on Monday. In the film, women accused Trump of kissing them without permission, grabbing their private parts, putting his hand up their skirts, or making other unwanted advances.

Congress should "put aside their party affiliations and investigate Mr Trump's history of sexual misconduct," said Crooks, a former receptionist for a real estate firm, who was flanked by Leeds and Holvey.

The women said they do not think Trump will resign over the allegations but that he should be held accountable.

Trump and White House officials have denied the allegations, some of which date back to the 1980s.

"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," a White House spokesperson said in a statement on Monday, questioning the women's timing and political motives.

Trump, a Republican, faces legal action in one related case.

Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand told CNN that Trump should resign over the accusations.

“These allegations are credible," Gillibrand said in an interview on Monday with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. "They are numerous. I’ve heard these women’s testimony, and many of them are heartbreaking.”

Gillibrand recently said former President Bill Clinton, a fellow Democrat, should have stepped down during the 1990s scandal that led the House of Representatives to vote to impeach him. On Monday, she said that if Trump does not immediately resign, Congress “should have appropriate investigations of his behaviour and hold him accountable.”

A number of powerful and high-profile men have been accused in recent months of sexual misconduct, including three members of Congress, Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein and former NBC news anchor Matt Lauer.

The accusations against Trump emerged during the 2016 presidential campaign when a videotape surfaced of a 2005 conversation caught on an open microphone in which Trump spoke in vulgar terms about trying to have sex with women.

Trump apologized for the remarks, but called them private "locker-room talk" and said he had not done the things he talked about.