White House qualifies false Trump claim he doesn’t know his accusers

Posted at 6:59 PM, Dec 12, 2017

President Donald Trump claimed on Tuesday that he didn’t know or had never met the women accusing him of sexual harassment and assault, despite evidence to the contrary.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders qualified the comment during her daily press briefing, saying the President was only referring to the three women who appeared at a news conference Monday to reiterate their accusations against Trump.

That’s despite the fact Trump’s tweet made no such specification.

“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,” Trump wrote. “FAKE NEWS!”

At least 15 women have come forward with a wide range of accusations against Trump, spanning from sexual harassment and sexual assault to lewd behavior around women. Of the women, 13 say Trump attacked them directly and two others say they witnessed behavior that made them uncomfortable. All the alleged incidents took place prior to his assuming the presidency. Trump has denied all the allegations.

Video and photographs from the time prove Trump has met and interacted with multiple women who have accused him of sexual assault or harassment.

At least six of his accusers have offered proof that the businessman-turned-president spent some time with them, despite Trump saying he either didn’t know or has never met them.

Here’s what we know:

Summer Zervos

Summer Zervos, a former contestant on Trump’s NBC show “The Apprentice,” accused the businessman of sexually assaulting her multiple times.

Zervos, who detailed her accusations in October 2016, claims Trump kissed her twice on the lips during a lunch meeting in his New York City office and that he kissed her aggressively and touched her breast in Beverly Hills. Both alleged incidents happened in 2007.

Trump denied the claims last year, but his tweet on Tuesday goes further by suggesting that he never knew or met Zervos.

Trump, in fact, appeared on television with “The Apprentice” contestant, firing her after a lengthy back-and-forth during the first episode of the show’s fifth season.

Zervos tried to jump in to defend her teammate, which led Trump to say her attempt to defend a fellow contestant was “stupid.”

“I’m getting ready practically to fire this guy and you keep interrupting me and stopping me from doing it,” Trump said before firing Zervos.

Ninni Laaksonen

Donald Trump during Kate Hudson and Donald Trump Visit the Late Show with David Letterman – July 17, 2006 at Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)

Ninni Laaksonen, the former Miss Finland, accused Trump of grabbing her butt before an appearance on CBS’ “The Late Show with David Letterman” in 2006.

“Before the show we were photographed outside the building,” Laaksonen told The Telegraph, a British newspaper. “Trump stood right next to me and suddenly he squeezed my butt. He really grabbed my butt.”

Photos show Trump with Laaksonen together at the event outside the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City.

Jill Harth

Jill Harth has accused Trump of making unwanted sexual advances in 1992 and 1993 when she and her then-boyfriend George Houraney entered a business venture with the businessman. According to Harth, Trump’s behavior included groping her under her skirt on two different occasions.

Hope Hicks, Trump’s spokeswoman, said Trump denies these claims and the Trump campaign looked to discredit Harth by providing emails where Harth offers to support his presidential run.

But that defense undermines Trump’s tweet.

Further, Houraney provided The New York Times and other outlets with a picture of Trump and Harth together in 1992.

Temple Taggart

Temple Taggart, the former Miss Utah USA, claims that Trump twice kissed her on the lips without her consent, once during a rehearsal for the Miss USA Pageant in 1997 and again during a meeting at Trump Tower.

Trump told NBC News, the first to report Taggart’s story, that he didn’t “even know who she is.”

But Taggart provided NBC News with an undated photo showing her standing next to a smiling Trump.

Natasha Stoynoff

Natasha Stoynoff, a writer for People Magazine, accused Trump of sexually assaulting her while she was writing an article about the businessman and his wife, Melania.

Stoynoff alleged that Trump made inappropriate physical advances on her at his Mar-a-Lago estate while she worked on a piece about the Trump’s one-year wedding anniversary.

Trump denied the story by suggesting Stoynoff is not attractive enough for him.

“She lies!” Trump said at a rally. “Look at her, I don’t think so.”

But People Magazine has stood by Stoynoff’s account and confirmed that she did meet with Trump and his wife, Melania, while working on a story about them in 2005. The magazine tweeted a photo of Stoynoff with Trump on Tuesday.

Jessica Drake

jessica drake (R), who works for an adult film company, speaks beside attorney Gloria Allred (L) about allegations of sexual misconduct against Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump during a press conference in Los Angeles, California on October 22, 2016. / AFP / Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Jessica Drake, an adult film performer and director, claimed during the 2016 campaign that Trump hugged and kissed her without asking permission in a hotel suite at a charity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, Nevada in 2006.

Gloria Allred, a high-profile attorney who represented Drake and other women accusing Trump, showed a photograph of Trump and Drake together during a 2016 press conference.

In pushing back against the claims, a Trump campaign statement validated the photo’s authenticity.

“This story is totally false and ridiculous. The picture is one of thousands taken out of respect for people asking to have their picture taken with Mr. Trump,” the campaign statement said. “Mr. Trump does not know this person, does not remember this person and would have no interest in ever knowing her.”