Megyn Kelly on Monday hosted three women who have accused President Donald Trump of various forms of sexual misconduct they say occurred before he became president. All three of the women had come forward with their stories, one of which dates back to the 1970s, last year in the days leading up to the election. On Sunday, Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley appeared on Face The Nation and said that Trump’s accusers “should be heard,” and Kelly provided a platform Monday for three of the women to tell their stories. The White House on Monday morning denied the claims as “false,” according to a statement given to Kelly.
The first person viewers heard from was Samantha Holvey, who competed in the Trump-owned Miss USA pageant in 2006 as Miss North Carolina. She said Trump came strolling into the dressing room backstage “like he owns the place.” Holvey said that as contestants were wearing Miss USA robes, in some cases with no clothes under them, Trump began looking the women over. Holvey said Trump ogled each of the women as though they were “meat” and not humans. The experience, she said, “left me feeling very gross, very dirty — like this is not what I signed up for.”
Rachel Crooks was 22 years old when she had an alleged encounter with Trump in 2006. At the time, she was working in Trump Tower for Bayrock Group, a company that rented office space in the building and did business with the Trump Organization. Crooks said she used to see Trump almost daily as he waited for the elevator that took him to his private residence in the building. One day, Crooks said, she decided to introduce herself to him and she said Trump’s response was largely normal — at first. He shook her hand, kissed her on the cheek and made small talk. But then, he continued to kiss her on the cheek, Crooks said, repeatedly, before he finally leaned in and kissed her on the mouth, behavior similar to what Trump can be heard describing on the infamous Access Hollywood tape.
“I was devastated. It happened so fast,” she said, adding that she wishes she’d been courageous enough in the moment to have told him, “You need to stop this.” Crooks said the incident took place early in the morning, and afterward she was shaken, so she hid in her office and called her sister and told her about it. She said that was reluctant to report the incident because she knew Trump was the most important business partner her employer had. Over the weekend, a former Fox News anchor, Juliet Huddy, who had also accused Bill O’Reilly for sexual harassment, told a very similar story during an appearance on a radio show, in which she said Trump cornered her in an elevator and kissed her. Both of those alleged incidents occurred around the time, or not long after, he married Melania.
Jessica Leeds recalled to Kelly her encounter with Trump on an airplane in the 1970s, a story she first told to The New York Times last year, about one month before Election Day.
“All of a sudden, he’s all over me. Kissing and groping, groping and kissing,” Leeds recalled. “Nothing was said … It was just this silent groping going on.”
Leeds said she looked at the man across the aisle from her, and wondering why neither he nor the flight attendant intervened. Leeds said she left her seat and hid at back of the plane for the rest of the flight.
“I didn’t tell anyone then. I just thought, that’s some creep on the airplane,” Leeds said.
Adding insult to injury, Leeds said she ran into Trump about three years later at a work-related event. When he saw her, Leeds recalled, “He says, ‘I remember you. You were that woman from that airplane.’ He called me the worst name ever.” Leeds emphasized that the word he used was extremely offensive to her, and that she couldn’t repeat it on television.
Kelly then asked if the word began with a “c” and ended with “t,” and Leeds confirmed that it did.
“It’s the worst name ever,” Leeds said again.
“The 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 White House said in a statement. “The timing and absurdity of these false claims speaks volumes and the publicity tour that has begun only further confirms the political motives behind them.”
The women, who told Kelly there were no political agendas behind their decisions to speak out, are coming forward again at a time when many powerful men are losing their jobs after their alleged misconduct and abuses of power have been exposed. Though more than a dozen women have accused Trump of misconduct, he has been unscathed by the recent movement. Holvey spoke to that point when she talked about her dismay over the election result last year.
“It’s like the entire country said, ‘Meh, we don’t care that he’s like this.'” Holvey said. Watch the full interview below, in two parts. The women also held a press conference Monday, where they reviewed their accusations with a group of reporters.