A former Trump staffer who filed a dubious and possibly money-motivated civil suit against President Donald Trump on Monday accusing him of kissing her without consent while on the campaign trail three years ago expounded further on her allegations during an appearance Tuesday on MSNBC.
In her suit, former Trump campaign staffer Alva Johnson claims that prior to the start of a rally in Tampa on Aug. 24, 2016, then-GOP nominee Trump leaned in to kiss her as he exited an RV.
“He passed me on his way exiting the RV. And so as he passed me, I looked at him and I said, ‘Now you go and do a good job, go kick ass, because I’ve been away from my family for a long time,'” she recalled to MSNBC host Chris Hayes.
“And so he stops, he grabs my hand, and he starts looking at me. And then as he’s looking at me, he’s holding my hand, he said, ‘I’m going to do a good job. I’m not going to let you down. I know you’ve been away from your family, and I appreciate what you are doing.'”
Listen to the rest of her story below:
As Trump stood there holding her hand, he then began moving in closer, she alleged Tuesday, adding that his behavior made her wonder whether he was going to hug her or what.
“And then he keeps coming closer, and I’m like, ‘Is he going to hug me? Oh my God, I think he’s going to kiss me,'” she said. “Because he was coming directly for my face. … And so he just starts getting closer, and then when I realized that he’s going to kiss my lips, I turn my mouth, and he caught me right in the corner of my mouth. And I was just kind of frozen. I didn’t know how to process it.”
“I knew it was inappropriate. I worked in Human Resources, so I knew it was completely inappropriate. It was gross and creepy. Like I can sometimes still see those lips …”
She continued by claiming that she waited until NBC News purposefully released the notorious “Access Hollywood” six weeks later to quit her job with the then-GOP nominee’s campaign.
“When I heard audio, I was like screaming in my car,” she said to Hayes. “I’m like oh my god, that’s exactly what he did to me. He literally described exactly what he did to me, minus the grab the ‘P.'”
“And so for me, it solved the questions. You kind of second guess, and it solved every question I had about the intention. It solved every intention about the amount of inappropriateness that it was, and I never went back to work.”
In the infamous 2005 tape, Trump boasted privately to then-“Access Hollywood” correspondent Billy Bush that when you’re a wealthy star, women “let” you do anything to them, including kiss them and grab their genitals. As noted by many, his use of the term “let” implied consent.
Listen to Johnson’s claim below:
While the former Trump staffer appeared sincere in her testimony Tuesday to Hayes, her suit against nominee-turned-President Trump contains a number of disturbing red flags, including its very existence. Some wonder why she’s suing for money instead of contacting the authorities.
And though she claims she quit the campaign after the “Access Hollywood” tape went public in 2016, the evidence shows that she’d been feverishly praising Trump as late as 2017.
“He is more incredible in person than I think you would even think as you see him on TV,” she said during an appearance on radio station WVNN’s “Politics and Moore” on May 6th of that year. “He’s just the nicest guy. . . . He treats everyone as if they are a part of his family.”
During the interview, she added that she was expecting to soon be given a post-election job as the “second-in-command” at the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon: “I will at some point be heading over to Portugal to work in the embassy,” she boasted.
It doesn’t appear she ever received this job.
Listen to the full interview below starting at the 13:30 mark:
Moreover, both of the women Johnson has cited as witnesses, including former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, have denied ever seeing Trump kiss her. And according to The Washington Post, an attorney she spoke with in 2016 about Trump’s alleged behavior reportedly refused to take her case at the time, though he did allegedly describe the allegations as credible. Odd.
Odder still is Johnson’s decision to also accuse Trump of paying her and other female staffers less than “similarly situated” male staffers. It’s unclear why she didn’t file this “collective action” separately versus mixing it in with her allegations of sexual harassment. The only shared factor between both sets of allegations is the demand for financial compensation.
“Ms. Johnson seeks to bring this case as a collective action on behalf of female Campaign
employees who suffered unlawful pay discrimination at the hands of Defendant Donald J. Trump,” the suit reads.
And it demands she be appointed the head of this so-called “collective”: “Ms. Johnson seeks to be appointed as a representative of the collective.”
The suit fails to identify any other members of the “collective.”
The Trump administration has for its part denied both sets of allegations.
“This never happened and is directly contradicted by multiple highly credible eye witness accounts,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement to Fox News earlier this week in reference to the first allegation.
“The Trump campaign has never discriminated based on race, ethnicity, gender, or any other basis,” Kayleigh McEnany, the spokeswoman for Trump’s 2020 campaign, added in a statement to HuffPost in regard to the second allegation. “Any allegation suggesting otherwise is off base and unfounded.”
Asked by Hayes why she’s only just now speaking out about the president’s alleged behavior, Johnson claimed Tuesday that she’s been held back by a campaign nondisclosure agreement and that she’s tired of remaining silent.
“I felt my vocal cords had been clipped for years. You’re not supposed to criticize him, criticize the family. You’re not supposed to criticize the campaign, you cannot criticize his business. It’s used as a weapon,” she said.
“You have [Trump] mocking women with the #MeToo movement, making fun of them and I’m sitting there and I’m like this is exactly what you did to me and I don’t want to keep my mouth shut. I want my voice back. I want my freedom to speak freely without the fear or at least without the people surrounding me that will help me fight this.”
Watch the full interview below:
To be clear, the president has only mocked those women who’ve attempted to exploit the #MeToo movement to lodge patently false sexual harassment and/or assault allegations against innocent men.
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