President Trump called Jessica Leeds a “c**t” after allegedly groping her on an airplane in the late 1970’s, Leeds said on Megyn Kelly Today Monday morning.
Three years after the incident, Leeds said she ran into Trump when she was working at a fundraising gala in New York City.
“I knew and I recognized him, immediately,” Leeds said. “He stands there, as I’m handing him this stable assignment and he says, I remember you. You were that” — Leeds paused — “woman from the airplane. He called me the worst name ever.”
Kelly asked Leeds if there was a descriptor before woman, and Leeds said yes, adding, “It’s the worst one.”
“You don’t want to say it out loud. Does it begin with a ‘C’?” Kelly asked. Leeds said yes, and Kelly asked if the word ended with a “T,” and Leeds said yes again.
Leeds joined Kelly Monday morning along with two other women, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Crooks, who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct. Crooks says Trump forcibly kissed her in Trump Tower in 2005, and Holvey says Trump “inspected” her and other Miss USA pageant contestants, calling the interaction “the dirtiest I felt in my entire life.” In total, 16 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct. The president has denied all accusations.
In a statement released to Kelly during the taping Monday, the White House said, “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. The timing and absurdity of these claims speaks volumes. And the publicity tour only confirms the political motives behind them.”
Last week, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), and Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) all resigned from Congress following accusations of sexual harassment, abuse, and misconduct. All three women who joined Kelly Monday have publicly told their stories in the past, but the recent avalanche of accusations made against powerful men in media, politics, and other industries have reignited the conversation about the allegations made against Trump.
“It is heartbreaking,” Holvey said Monday when Kelly asked if speaking out was scary. “We’re private citizens and for us to put ourselves out there to try to show America who this man is and especially how he views women and for them to say, ‘We don’t care,’ it hurt. And so, you know, now, it’s just like, all right, let’s try round two. The environment’s different. Let’s try again.”
The women all spoke Monday about how it felt to see Trump win and take office. Leeds said she began telling her story to anyone who would listen during the campaign because she wanted people to know “what kind of person Trump really is. What a pervert he is.”
“It was just a tough day because the entire country said, ‘We don’t care that he’s like this,'” Holvey said of Inauguration Day.
Leeds also said Monday that she wants to see an Congressional inquiry into Trump’s behavior, too.
“I think that’s fair. They were more than willing to do that for Senator Franken,” she said. “Why is the president immune to that?”
A Congressional inquiry would give Trump’s accusers the opportunity to speak under oath, and Crooks said Monday she also wants to see security footage from Trump Tower.
“I recently read a comment about, ‘If this happened in Trump Tower, they have to have security footage. Where is that?'” Crooks said. “Yes, where is that? Let’s get that out. I would love for that to be made public. He owns the building. I doubt that’s going to happen. But I would be more than happy for him to let that surface.”
Crooks also talked about the power dynamic of her interaction with Trump, who asked her for her phone number after allegedly forcibly kissing her.
“I was so uncomfortable. A little, yeah, threatened,” she said. “Like I didn’t have a choice in agreeing to do that… You feel like you have to say yes. You don’t want to be the nasty girl, the mean girl that doesn’t comply and who puts up a fight… I wish I had been stronger then. I would feel differently now, I’d like to think. Things would be different now.”
Trump accuser Rachel Crooks: "I recently read a comment [saying], 'If this happened in Trump Tower, they have to have security footage. Where is that?' Yes, where is that? Let's get that out. I would love for that to be made public." pic.twitter.com/uW7n1BjG11
— Melanie Schmitz (@MelsLien) December 11, 2017
Following their appearance on Megyn Kelly Today, the three women held a media availability in New York City to discuss their experiences.
Other Trump accusers have also been speaking out recently.
In October, BuzzFeed reported that one woman, Summer Zervos, who alleges Trump groped her subpoenaed Trump for any campaign documents pertaining to her accusations. It also requests documents referencing “any woman alleging that Donald J. Trump touched her inappropriately.” And on Friday, former Fox News anchor Julia Huddy came forward and said that, just over ten years ago, Trump forcibly kissed her in an elevator after a lunch meeting at Trump Tower.
Trump also recently endorsed Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who is running to fill the seat vacated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Alabama. Nine women have accused Moore of sexual misconduct, including one woman who has accused Moore of molesting her when he was in his 30’s and she was just 14.
“The man is up three points and is expected to become our next United States senator. Your thoughts on that in the wake of your accusations?” Kelly asked Holvey Monday.
“I mean, it gives me goosebumps,” Holvey said. “[I]t’s just like, where do we draw the line? Where do we draw the line as women coming together in this country saying no. We don’t want to be treated like that. We no longer accept this.”