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Tuesday
Dec122017

Trump’s legal team wants second special counsel to probe FBI, DOJ for conflicts

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --  Lawyers for President Donald Trump are pushing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to appoint a second special counsel to investigate the FBI agents who are working on the Russia probe as well as officials at the Department of Justice for any possible conflicts of interest.

The move comes after an FBI agent who had worked with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team was removed from the investigation this past summer for exchanging texts that could be viewed as anti-Trump.

It also comes amid a Fox report that a Department of Justice official allegedly met with individuals behind the infamous Trump dossier who were working with a firm that employed his wife.

"The Department of Justice and FBI cannot ignore the multiple problems that have been created by these obvious conflicts of interests. These new revelations require the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate,” Jay Sekulow a member of the president’s legal team told ABC News.

Sekulow was referring to both the FBI and DOJ cases, although in the latter, it was unclear if there was any connection to the Mueller investigation.

Though the move could be seen as an attack on Mueller, the president’s attorneys have stressed they have no issues with the former FBI director, who is a Republican and was appointed to his current post by a nominee of Trump's.

In the FBI case, a counterintelligence agent, Peter Strzok, was removed from the Russia probe after the discovery of text messages sent by the agent that were viewed as potentially anti-Trump. Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, has said Strzok was removed from the team "immediately upon learning of the allegations."

Trump seized on the news, saying in a tweet that the FBI’s “reputation is in tatters.”

During a recent Congressional hearing with FBI Director Chris Wray, House Republicans used Strzok’s situation to question the integrity of federal investigations, including the probe being led by Mueller.

Strzok has spent much of his law enforcement career working counterintelligence cases, and he has been widely praised by federal law enforcement officials who spoke with ABC News. He reportedly left Mueller’s team in late July and is now working for the FBI's human resources division.

The FBI has declined to comment on Strzok.

In the second case, Fox reported that the wife of a DOJ official, Bruce Ohr, worked for the firm behind the infamous anti-Trump dossier, Fusion GPS.

According to the report, Ohr met last year with the author of the dossier. The alleged meeting occurred several months before Mueller was appointed special counsel, and it is unclear if Ohr has any connections to the Mueller-led investigation.

Asked why Ohr was meeting with representatives from Fusion, a DOJ official told ABC News “he’s known these guys for a very long time,” but didn’t specify what the meeting was about. Ohr has been removed from his post in the deputy attorney general's office, but still remains in the Department of Justice. He has been cleared to testify as requested, per the DOJ.

Sessions told Fox News Tuesday he has “put a Senior Attorney, with the resources he may need, to review cases in our office and make a recommendation to me, if things aren’t being pursued that need to be pursued, if cases may need more resources to complete in a proper manner, and to recommend to me if the standards for a special counsel are met, and the recommended one should be established.”

The call though for a second special counsel is not entirely new.

Last month, the Justice Department disclosed that Sessions had ordered department attorneys to review other matters related to last year's election and determine whether they should be further investigated, either by the FBI or a special counsel.

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Tuesday
Dec122017

Trump attacks Gillibrand after call for his resignation, suggests she'd 'do anything' for campaign contributions

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump is attacking Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in retaliation for suggesting he resign in the face of sexual harassment allegations made by multiple women.

Over a dozen women have accused Trump of sexual harassment and assault in the years before he was president. Trump has denied the allegations.

Trump called the Democratic senator from New York a "lightweight,” a "total flunky" for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and suggested she would “do anything” for campaign contributions.

"Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office “begging” for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!" Trump tweeted.

Gillibrand called Trump's tweet a "sexist smear" and said thoroughly investigating the allegations against him is "the right thing to do."

"It was a sexist smear attempting to silence my voice and I will not be silenced on this issue and neither will the women who stood up to the president yesterday," Gillibrand said on Capitol Hill today.

ABC News reached out to the White House for clarification about the president's remarks but had not received a response at the time of publication.

Gillibrand also responded to the president's tweet with her own this morning.

"You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office," Gillibrand wrote on Twitter.

Gillibrand is one of six senators - five Democrats and one independent - who have called for the president's resignation yesterday and today.

"President Trump has committed assault, according to these women, and those are very credible allegations of misconduct and criminal activity, and he should be fully investigated and he should resign," Gillibrand said in an interview with CNN Monday.

In the past week, three longtime U.S. congressmen from both parties -- Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, Rep. Trent Franks of Arizona and Rep. John Conyers of Michigan -- announced their resignations after they were accused of sexual misconduct. All three men had previously denied the accusations made against them.

The Senate Ethics Committee and the House Ethics Committee have launched investigations into the allegations made against their respective members, Senator Franken, Representative Franks, and Representative Conyers.

On Tuesday, Melinda McGillivray, one of the women accusing the president of sexual harassment and assault, joined Jessica Leeds, Rachel Crooks, and Samantha Holvey in calling for a congressional investigation into Trump.

“I demand that he is subjected to an investigation by the ethics committee. It's important that we hold this man to the highest standards. If sixteen women have come forward, why hasn't anything been done? Where is our investigation? I want justice,” McGillvray said on NBC’s “Megyn Kelly Today.”

McGillivray first went public with her allegations in the Palm Beach Post during the campaign. McGillivray claimed that Trump grabbed her rear end in 2003 when she was attending a concert at Mar-a-Lago.

The White House responded to the three women (Leeds, Crooks and Holvey) initially calling for a congressional investigation in a statement Monday.

"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 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 calls for a congressional investigation into Trump are also being echoed among 56 female Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The Democratic Women’s Working Group - led by Democratic Representatives Lois Frankel of Florida, Brenda Lawrence of Michigan, and Jackie Speier of California - said it plans to hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon to call for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to investigate the allegations against Trump.

The group of Democratic female lawmakers sent a letter signed by all its members to Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and ranking member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., Frankel announced Monday.

"We cannot ignore the multitude of women who have come forward with accusations against Mr. Trump," the letter read.

Trump accused Democrats of using “false” and "fabricated” allegations as a way to attack him since they have “been unable to show any collusion” between him and Russia in the 2016 presidential election, which is the focus of a special counsel investigation.

"Despite thousands of hours wasted and many millions of dollars spent, the Democrats have been unable to show any collusion with Russia - so now they are moving on to the false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don’t know and/or have never met. FAKE NEWS!" Trump tweeted Tuesday morning.

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Tuesday
Dec122017

Roy Moore's wife defends him against anti-Semitism claims: 'One of our attorneys is a Jew'

ABC News(MONTGOMERY, Ala.) -- Kayla Moore, the wife of Alabama Senate GOP candidate Roy Moore, refuted accusations that her husband holds anti-Semitic views and accused the media of slandering him.

“The fake news –- they paint him a different picture, their picture. So let me tell him who he is,” Kayla Moore said while introducing her husband at a campaign rally in Midland City, Alabama Monday night.

Moore then launched into a defense of her husband’s character, arguing that he doesn't hold any negative views of Jewish people, women or African Americans.

“Fake news would tell you that we don’t care for Jews,” Kayla Moore said. “I tell you all this because I’ve seen it all so I just want to set the record straight while they’re here.”

“One of our attorneys is a Jew,” Kayla Moore added. “We have very close friends that are Jewish and rabbis and we also fellowship with them.”

Moore also told the crowd that they “have many friends that are black and we also fellowship with them in church and in our home.”

Republican candidate Roy Moore faces off against Democratic candidate Doug Jones in the Alabama special election today to fill Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ vacant U.S. Senate seat.

Kayla Moore seemed to be responding to the criticism against Roy Moore’s comments about billionaire philanthropist George Soros, who is Jewish and a Holocaust survivor.

In an interview with a Christian broadcasting radio network, Roy Moore had suggested that Soros, a major Democratic donor, would be going to hell for his religious beliefs. Moore had accused Soros of funding the eight women who have made sexual misconduct allegations against Moore.

“No matter how much money he’s got, [Soros is] still going to the same place that people who don’t recognize God and morality and accept his salvation are going. And that’s not a good place,” Roy Moore said in an interview last Monday with American Family Radio.

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Tuesday
Dec122017

Moore tells accusers to 'tell the truth' while making final appeal to voters

Joe Buglewicz/Stringer/Getty Images(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) -- Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama, told the women accusing him of sexual misconduct to "tell the truth" as he made a final push to woo voters ahead of the state's general election on Tuesday.

At his final rally on Monday night, Moore appeared to target the eight women who have accused him of sexual misconduct. When asked during the rope line to address the claims, Moore, who has denied the allegations levied against him, told ABC News' Tom Llamas the women should "tell the truth."

"The fake news began after I [had an] 11-point lead in the general election,” Moore told supporters from the stage in Midland City, Alabama. “But they waited till 30 days before this general election to come forward. Now they've allowed their pictures to be on a political advertisement, and they've gone on national television arguing their case, after waiting 40 years.”

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon, who also spoke at Monday’s rally, used his time on stage to go after fellow Republicans -- including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee -- who denounced Moore in the wake of the misconduct allegations.

"There's a special place in hell for Republicans who should know better. You know what they're doing and they're trying to shut up President Trump and Judge Moore, they're trying to shut you up,” Bannon said.

“Why do you think the whole world's here, why do you think they're down here in Dothan in the middle of Alabama? You know why, this is about raw power," he added.

 Many Republicans on Capitol Hill have urged Moore to step aside, despite having Trump’s backing.

The president recorded a robocall over the weekend urging voters to stand with Moore.

"Roy Moore is the guy we need to pass our 'Make America Great Again' agenda," Trump said on the call. "Roy is a conservative who will help me steer this country back on track after eight years of the Obama disaster. Get out and vote for Roy Moore."

Moore was pushing to raise money as late as Monday afternoon, when he singled out frequent Trump opponent Rosie O'Donnell as a supporter of Democrat Doug Jones.

 Moore, a former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice, is set to face off with Jones, a former U.S. attorney, on Tuesday. The race is forecast to be a tight one.

A Fox News poll released Monday shows Jones leading by 10 points, while a Washington Post/George Mason University poll released earlier this month had Jones with a 3 point lead.

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Tuesday
Dec122017

Doug Jones hosts NBA legend Charles Barkley for rally night before Alabama election

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) -- Alabama senatorial candidate Doug Jones bolstered his campaign with a big endorsement the night before Tuesday's runoff -- literally. Jones brought out 6-foot-6 Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley for the final rally of his campaign on Monday night in Birmingham.

Barkley, a native of Leeds, Alabama, and regular supporter of Democrats, pushed Jones as the smart voter's choice for Senate from the state.

"At some point we have got to stop looking like idiots to the nation," Barkley said.

Barkley slammed Jones' opponent, Roy Moore, as well as former Trump administration official Steve Bannon, who was campaigning with Moore across the state in Midland City, Alabama.

"How can that man be in the lead?" he said, referencing Moore.

The latest polls have Jones and Moore running neck-and-neck for the win. The special election is being held to find a replacement for current Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who served in the Senate from 1997 to 2017.

Moore has been accused of sexual misconduct by eight women when he was in his 30s and, in some cases, when the women were in their teens. Moore has repeatedly denied the allegations. He did so again Monday night, saying, "The fake news began after I [had an] 11-point lead in the general election."

Barkley's harshest words may have actually been for Bannon, who supported Moore throughout the primary -- opposite Donald Trump, who supported Moore's opponent Sen. Luther Strange -- and now during the general election. He's been a regular at rallies.

"Only in Alabama could you send a white nationalist, separatist, who don't believe in race mixing to come to Alabama three times and get cheered at a Roy Moore rally," Barkley said of Bannon. "That is crazy. Look at all these races here ... and this guy wants to stand up and say he don't believe in race mixing. That is crazy."

Barkley is a regular on the political circuit in Alabama, mentioning several times since his retirement from the NBA he would be interested in running for governor. He supported Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, and was an outspoken opponent of Trump in 2016.

Jones joined Barkley on stage, joking with the Auburn legend over Jones being a University of Alabama graduate.

The candidate reiterated a familiar appeal to putting "decency and our state before political party."

Jones' crescendo moment came about midway through his speech. He said it was time for the state to say, "No more putting people down, no more discrimination. ... It is time we say, no more!" The crowd started chanting, "No Moore!" in a play on Jones' phrase.

Actress Alyssa Milano, who was at the forefront of the #metoo campaign on Twitter to bring attention to victims of sexual abuse, and "Orange is the New Black" star Uzo Aduba both joined Jones on stage as well.

"Generations to come will feel the effects of what is going on in Alabama right now," Milano told ABC News' Stephanie Ramos. "To me this election is more than Democrat and Republican, it is about right vs. wrong."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Dec122017

Sean Spicer to release book next summer

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer is releasing a book next summer.

Spicer has signed a deal with Regnery Publishing, conservative book publisher. His forthcoming book, titled "The Briefing," will focus on his "turbulent tenure" behind the lectern before resigning in July, according to the book's official description.

The book promises to shed "new light on the headline-grabbing controversies of the Trump administration’s first year," the description states.

Spicer worked as the communications director for the Republican National Committee before being named as now-President Donald Trump's press secretary during the transition.

His tenure got off to a rocky start when he made his first appearance in the White House briefing room the day after Trump took office and read a statement to the press about the size of the crowd at the inauguration.

His resignation came the day after the Trump administration marked its first six months in office.

"The Briefing" hits shelves on July 23, 2018.

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Monday
Dec112017

Judge warns Manafort: Gag order 'applies to you'

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --   A federal judge scolded former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort Monday for his alleged role in the crafting of a recently-published opinion piece in a Ukrainian newspaper designed to burnish his image.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson warned Manafort that her prior gag order “applies to you and not just your lawyer," but took no further action on the matter.

After thanking the judge, Manafort's lawyer Kevin Downing took the opportunity — in a courtroom full of reporters — to take issue with “a torrent of negative press” against his client that “keeps rolling out again and again,” asking Jackson, “What is it we do” to counter that?

Jackson refused to give “advice,” on the situation, noting that "negative press" was also spreading about the prosecution, which was not raising complaints about it.

She further essentially accepted the defense’s previously-filed argument that any potential jury pool would be drawn from Washington, D.C. and not Eastern Europe, so no jury pool would be tainted — one of the underlying reasons for the Nov. 8 gag order. But the judge noted that the op-ed is “out there” on the internet and therefore widely available and easily shared on “Facebook, Twitter, or a blog.”

The judge warned all parties against any further efforts “to circumvent and evade” the gag order.

The prosecution, which accused Manafort of heavily editing the article, had previously argued that the collaboration was with an individual “assessed to have ties” to Russian intelligence, but there was no mention of that relationship at the hour-long status hearing on Monday at U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Manafort, 68, and his long-time associate Rick Gates, 45, have both pleaded not guilty to charges filed Oct. 30.

Both Manafort and Gates have, through their attorneys, argued to be released from house arrest with GPS monitoring, but Jackson was still trying to evaluate Monday the properties and other sureties that each defendant is offering to back their individual bonds — $10 million for Manafort and $5 million for Gates.

An exasperated Downing said, “We just want this thing to get done,” adding that with such strict conditions on his confinement, “It’s been real difficult for Mr. Manafort to make a living.”

Downing then took another opportunity to defend his client, in broader terms, saying, with arms outstretched, “Some of the charges in this case, we just don’t get it. We just see it as failing to file some paperwork.”

Jackson, with an amused expression on her face, was unfazed as she asked questions about Manafort’s future plans for residency. No decisions were made on Monday regarding home confinement.

The judge made it clear both defendants would have to report their future whereabouts under any modified release terms, “even when the FBI is following you everywhere you go.”

Despite the seriousness of the proceedings, the judge injected a bit of levity saying of Gates, who has yet to prove the value of his assets backing his bond, the court wants “to get out of the business of monitoring soccer practice.”

Gates is the father of young children and has recently taken on coaching duties for one of his children’s teams. Without his bond being verified as secure, each time he wishes to leave his home, he must obtain permission from the judge.

The next status hearing is scheduled for Jan. 16.

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Monday
Dec112017

Liberal group urges Alabama voters to write-in football coaches Saban, Malzahn

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --   In an attempt to capitalize on college football-crazed Alabamians, a liberal super PAC is urging voters in the state to write-in the names of the head coaches of the University of Alabama and Auburn University football teams in Tuesday's closely watched U.S. Senate special election.

The group, American Bridge 21st Century, is releasing two, 15-second Facebook advertisements specifically targeting Republican voters, telling them to write-in Nick Saban, Alabama's head coach, or Gus Malzahn, Auburn's head coach.

Representatives from the University of Alabama and Auburn did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

While Trump won the state of Alabama by nearly 30 points in the 2016 elections, Democrats are hoping their candidate, Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney, can pull off an upset in the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct against Republican nominee Roy Moore, a former judge.

Moore faces multiple allegations of sexual misconduct with women when they were in their teens and he was in his 30s. Moore has denied the allegations.

"Roy Moore's disgraceful actions make him unfit for public service. Alabama voters have a chance to stand up for moral values on Tuesday, and as Coach Saban says, 'Character is what you do when no one else is watching,'" American Bridge President Bradley Beychock said in a statement released Monday.

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Monday
Dec112017

Moore, Jones set to face off in Alabama Senate election

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --  Alabama voters head to the polls Tuesday to elect a U.S. Senator in a race thrust into the national spotlight after allegations of sexual misconduct against the Republican nominee, former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore.

The state has not elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate since 1992, but Moore is locked in a tight race with his Democratic opponent, Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney.

Moore faces allegations from eight women who have accused him of sexual misconduct toward them when he was in his 30s and, in some cases, when the women were in their teens. Moore has denied the allegations.

Prior to the allegations surfacing last month, Moore already had a long-standing reputation as a fierce defender of Christianity in the public sphere, and was twice removed from his position as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for violating judicial orders.

The race has created a wedge between many Republicans on Capitol Hill, who have maintained that Moore should step aside, and President Donald Trump, who has endorsed Moore.

While he has not campaigned in Alabama, Trump urged Alabama voters to support Moore at a weekend rally in Pensacola, Florida, roughly 20 miles from the Alabama state line and close enough to be seen in the Alabama media market.

The president also recorded a robocall over the weekend urging Alabama voters to back Moore.

"Roy Moore is the guy we need to pass our 'Make America Great Again' agenda," Trump said on the call. "Roy is a conservative who will help me steer this country back on track after eight years of the Obama disaster. Get out and vote for Roy Moore," Trump said.

Trump also has argued that Moore has consistently denied the allegations as part of his rationale for endorsing him.

National Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have called on Moore to step aside in the wake of the sexual misconduct allegations, but Moore has remained defiant. Republican senators from Jeff Flake of Arizona to Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have maintained that Moore is not fit to serve in the U.S. Senate, and Flake went as far as donating $100 to the Jones campaign.

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has maintained that even if Moore should win the election he should be expelled from the United States Senate.

Alabama's senior senator, Republican Richard Shelby, has been particularly outspoken about not backing Moore.

"I wouldn't vote for Roy Moore. I think the Republican Party can do better," Shelby said Sunday on CNN.

But despite the allegations and widespread backlash against Moore, Jones still faces an uphill battle in a state that President Trump won by over 20 points in 2016.

Moore has strongly embraced President Trump, and has tried to paint Jones, who was appointed as a U.S. attorney by Bill Clinton in 1997, as too liberal on issues such as illegal immigration, abortion and same-sex marriage.

Jones has pitched himself as someone who can reach across party lines, and has run a campaign focused on turning out African-American voters as well as Alabama Republicans skeptical of Moore both before and after the allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced.

This past weekend Jones campaigned across the state with numerous high-profile African-American politicians, including Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Alabama's only Democrat in the House, Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala.

Jones also has also saved his fiercest attacks on Moore for the final weeks of the campaign.

“I damn sure believe that I have done my part to ensure that men who hurt little girls should go to jail and not the U.S. Senate," Jones said at a campaign rally in Birmingham last week.

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Monday
Dec112017

Trump accusers want Congress to investigate sexual harassment allegations against him

Monica Schipper/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Three women who have previously accused President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct or harassment in the years prior to his election are calling for Congress to investigate the allegations against him following a week in which three U.S. senators and congressional representatives stepped down over similar claims.

Rachel Crooks, Jessica Leeds and Samantha Holvey appeared at a news conference Monday.

“I ask that Congress put aside their party affiliations and investigate Mr. Trump's history of sexual misconduct," Crooks said.

Crooks alleged that Trump "has escaped his past unscathed, but over a dozen women have come forward about his sexual misconduct, and we have video proof of him promoting such behavior," referring to the Access Hollywood video from 2005.

"In an objective setting, without question a person with this record would have entered the graveyard of political aspirations never to return. Yet, here we are with that man as president," Crooks said.

Trump has denied allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct. He apologized last year for his comments recorded on the Access Hollywood video.

Asked about the women's claims Monday afternoon, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders repeated the president's denials and added that the White House felt the "allegations have been answered" through last year's election, given that Trump was victorious even after the public was aware of the accusations.

The three women appeared earlier Monday on the NBC's "Today" show, where host Megyn Kelly read a statement from the White House in response to the women's allegations.

“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 White House statement said. "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."

Crooks first made her allegations in an article in The New York Times in October 2016. She said that in 2005 when she was a 22-year-old receptionist at a real estate investment and development company in Trump Tower in Manhattan, she encountered Mr. Trump outside an elevator in the building one morning.

She said she knew her company did business with Trump, so she introduced herself and they shook hands. But, she told the Times, Trump would not let go and began kissing her cheeks. Then, he “kissed me directly on the mouth,” she said.

“I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that,” Crooks told the Times.

Crooks said at the news conference Monday, “I was shocked. Devastated. It happened so fast."

Leeds, who also first went public in the Times article in October 2016, alleges that Trump groped her during the late 1970s while she was traveling first class on an airplane. Leeds was a traveling salesperson in her 30s at the time.

“They served a meal, and after the meal was cleared, all of a sudden, he’s all over me - kissing and groping and groping and kissing,” Leeds said on the "Today" show.

Leeds also told NBC on Monday that three years after the alleged incident on the airplane, she moved to New York City and ran into Trump while she was working at a fundraiser gala. Leeds claims Trump recognized her as the woman on the plane and, using a profanity, “called me the worst name ever.”

“It was shocking. It was like a bucket of cold water being thrown over me,” Leeds said of the alleged interaction with the president.

Leeds said in the NBC interview Monday that she chose not to tell anyone about the alleged incidents with Trump until he was running for president.

“I wanted people to know what kind of person Trump really is,” Leeds said.

Holvey, a former Miss USA pageant contestant, also went public with her allegations in October 2016 in an interview with CNN.

Holvey was the 2006 Miss North Carolina in the pageant that year, she told CNN. During an event in New York City in the month before the pageant, Trump personally inspected each of the contestants, she alleged.

"He would step in front of each girl and look you over from head to toe like we were just meat, we were just sexual objects, that we were not people," Holvey told CNN. "You know when a gross guy at the bar is checking you out? It's that feeling."

Monday on the "Today" show, Holvey said that after going public with her story it "heartbreaking" to see Trump win the election.

“We’re private citizens, and for us to put ourselves out there to try and show America who this man is and especially how he views women and for them to say ‘Meh, we don’t care.’ It hurt.” Holvey said.

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