The firestorm surrounding Republican nominee’s admissions of sexual assault on a hot mic is set to become an all-consuming conflagration as more and more of his victims come forward. The New York Times has found two women who felt obligated to tell their stories of abuse at the hands of the sexist real estate mogul after he publicly denied the allegations during Sunday’s debate.
Their stories are downright shocking, confirming that Donald Trump’s record as a sexual predator extends back through his entire career.
Jessica Leeds, 74, was seated next to Donald Trump on a first-class flight to New York over thirty years ago. They had never met before, but about 45 minutes after take-off, Donald Trump “lifted the armrest and began to touch her.” Trump began fondling her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt. “He was like an octopus…His hands were everywhere. It was an assault” said Leeds.
Leeds was forced to flee to the back of the plane, but didn’t complain because such assaults were common from men in the business world during the 70’s and 80’s. “We accepted it for years. We were taught it was our fault.”
Rachel Crooks was a receptionist at the Bayrock Group, a real estate company based in Trump Tower Manhattan. She met Trump outside an elevator one morning in 2005. After introducing himself and shaking hands, Trump didn’t let go – and began kissing her cheeks before moving to kiss her on the mouth. “It was so inappropriate. I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that” says Crooks.
When reached for questioning, Donald Trump became enraged. shouting at the Times reporter, saying the newspaper “was making up the allegations to hurt him and that he would sue the news organization if it reported them.”
If there were any doubts about whether or not this is who Donald Trump really is – a sexual predator whose sense of self-entitlement is so outrageous he has no qualms about forcing himself on women he’d just met – these stories should dispell them. They – like the stories of Jill Harth and of Miss Utah Temple Taggart – only confirm what Donald Trump has boasted in his own words, in his own voice, words that are to become infamous in American history as a verbal representation of rape culture and white male privilege in our society: “I just start kissing them, I don’t even wait. Just grab them by the pussy.”
“People should know. This behavior is pervasive and it is real” says Crooks. It certainly is that; pervasive not just in the vile character of Donald Trump but in American society as a whole. Trump may have unwittingly done our nation a favor by exposing himself to such investigation and putting the issue of sexual assault on a national pedestal; for sexual assault is a constant in American society, no matter what level you look.
From the military to scientific acedemia to nursing homes, men abuse women and other men at a horrifying rate. Ask any woman you know. If Donald Trump begins a national conversation on male entitlement and sexual abuse, it’ll be the only thing of good that this vicious bastard has ever done in his shallow, joyless life. Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault, no matter what. The blame lies with predators like Donald Trump.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.