A woman who worked for President Trump's 2016 campaign alleges in a lawsuit he kissed her without consent, The Washington Post reports.
Alva Johnson claims that in August 2016, Trump grabbed her hand and kissed her outside of a rally in Tampa, Florida. She called this "super creepy and inappropriate" and said, "I immediately felt violated because I wasn't expecting it or wanting it. I can still see his lips coming straight for my face."
Johnson says that Trump was trying to kiss her on the lips after he thanked her for her work on the campaign, but she turned her head so he kissed her near her mouth.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
The Post confirmed with Johnson's boyfriend, mother, and stepfather that she told them about the incident at the time, and the outlet also reviewed her therapist's notes, which mention an unspecified incident during the campaign.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denied Johnson's account, calling it "absurd on its face" and saying the allegation "never happened and is directly contradicted by multiple highly credible eyewitness accounts." One eyewitness, former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, says she "one hundred percent" does not recall seeing Trump kiss Johnson. Johnson said Bondi saw the kiss and smiled at her afterward.
Johnson, who says she quit the campaign shortly after the Access Hollywood tape leak, claims that when she first met Trump in 2015, he eyed her up and down and said, "Oh, beautiful, beautiful, fantastic," according to the lawsuit. She additionally says she was paid less than her white male colleagues, something a Trump campaign spokesperson also denied.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.