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Sunday, Aug 25, 2019

Woman alleges Donald Trump kissed her during campaign

A woman who worked on President Donald Trump’s campaign has alleged in a lawsuit he kissed her against her will, before an election rally in Florida in August 2016.

world Updated: Feb 25, 2019 22:52 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
US President Donald Trump.
US President Donald Trump.(Bloomberg file photo)

A woman who worked on President Donald Trump’s campaign has alleged in a lawsuit he kissed her against her will, before an election rally in Florida in August 2016.

Alva Johnson has alleged that when she saw Trump leaning towards her to kiss her on her mouth, she turned away her face, and he kissed her on the “corner” of her mouth instead.

“I immediately felt violated because I wasn’t expecting it or wanting it,” she said to TheWashington Post in an interview. “I can still see his lips coming straight for my face.”

Johnson has also alleged in the lawsuit that when she first met the Republican candidate, in November 2015, he had “looked her up and down and said, ‘Oh, beautiful, beautiful, fantastic’”.

Johnson, a 43-year-old mother of four and African American, jointed the Trump after two months as director for outreach and coalition for Alabama, her home state. She was moved to Florida, a crucial swing-state, three months before polling. And the alleged incident took place in Tampa.

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The Washington Post reported it had verified her account with people she had discussed it with at the time, her boyfriend, mother and step-father. An attorney she had contacted had found her account “credible”, according to a text from the time that he showed to the publication and a therapist’s notes from them also showed Johnson had been troubled by something that happened during the campaign.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders has called the allegations “absurd” and told the publication, “This never happened and is directly contradicted by multiple highly credible eye witness accounts.” Two senior officials of Trump campaign who were present at the time of the alleged incident have denied seeing the alleged kiss.

President Trump has faced allegations of inappropriately touching women without their permission, and has himself bragged about forcing himself on women in a 2005 recording for “Access Hollywood”, which he later sought to dismiss as “locker-room talk”.

Johnson has alleged in the lawsuit that the incident took place inside an RV (recreational vehicle) at the Tampa rally. As it was raining Trump and others had moved into the vehicle. As he was leaving, she has said she told him he should go in there and “kick ass”.

Trump had held “grasped her hand and did not let go” as he spoke to her telling her he will take care of her for her hard work fr the campaign. and “leaned towards her. He moved close enough that she could feel his breath on him”, according to the lawsuit.

Johnson realized the candidate was “trying to kiss her on the mouth and attempted to avoid this by turning her head to the right,” the suite alleged, adding, “Defendant Trump kissed her anyway, and the kiss landed on the corner of her mouth”.

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First Published: Feb 25, 2019 22:51 IST

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