Clinton reaching past Trump, as he denies report of assault
Hillary Clinton turned up the heat Wednesday on Republican candidates who are facing both tight election races and tough decisions on what to do about Donald Trump. She’s now seeking to spread her new momentum to fellow Democrats on November ballots.
The move came on a day that ended with new allegations – piling onto already damaging revelations of Trump’s aggressive sexual comments about women.
Two newspapers reported late Wednesday that Trump’s actions went beyond words. The New York Times published interviews with two women who say they were touched inappropriately by the billionaire without their permission. The Times said Jessica Leeds, 74, of New York, told the newspaper she encountered Trump on an airline flight three decades ago. Leeds said Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt.
“He was like an octopus,” she told the newspaper. “His hands were everywhere.”
Rachel Crooks, of Ohio, said she met Trump at Trump Tower in 2005. Age 22 at the time, Crooks says Trump kissed her “directly on the mouth” against her will.
Trump denied the accusations, telling the Times, “None of this ever took place.” His campaign spokesman, Jason Miller, called the story “a completely false, coordinated character assassination.”
Separately, The Palm Beach Post in Florida, reported Wednesday night that Mindy McGillivray, 36, told the newspaper that Trump groped her at his Mar-a-Lago estate 13 years ago. Trump’s campaign said her allegation “lacks any merit or veracity.”
The reports came as two GOP senators and two House members who called for Trump to step aside over the weekend climbed back aboard. Their basic case: They’re voting for a Republican next month, and if Trump isn’t leaving then he’s got to be the one.
At a rally in Colorado, Clinton declared that Trump is “desperate” and running “scorched earth strategy.”
“That’s all they have left – pure negativity, pessimism,” she said.
Indeed, Trump kept up his unrelenting denunciations of Clinton at a rally in Florida. It’s not enough for voters to elect him instead of her, he declared, “She has got to go to jail.”
Clinton’s new swagger and expanded ambitions come as Trump declares he feels unshackled to launch the sort of hard-edged, personal campaign his most ardent supporters love.
In Florida, he highlighted a new batch of hacked emails from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s account, published by WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group. He asserted that the emails show ever more clearly that the former secretary of state and her family are corrupt.