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Ew


Wednesday was your day for October Surprises, as multiple women came forward with allegations of unwanted advances or outright sexual groping by Donald Trump, all of which were denied by Trump or his campaign, so we can probably take his word on that and just keep this story really short. Besides, as all Republicans know, only Bill Clinton has ever done that sort of thing.

The New York Times spoke to two women: Jessica Leeds, who said Trump had groped her on an airplane in the early 1980s, and Rachel Crooks, who said Trump moved from giving her a perfectly businesslike handshake to an aggressive, unwanted kiss outside an elevator in Trump Tower in 2005. A reporter for People magazine, Natasha Stoynoff, wrote a first-person account of a similar assault when she was writing a profile of Donald and Melania Trump in advance of their first anniversary; she says during a break in the interview at Mar-a-Lago, Trump said he wanted to show her a room, then closed the door, pinned her against a wall, and began kissing her aggressively, with his glowingly pregnant wife downstairs. And the Palm Beach Post spoke to Mindy McGillivray, who says that Trump groped her while she was helping a photographer at a Ray Charles concert at Mar-a-Lago in 2003. Yr Wonkette is unaware of any more recent newly published reports of groping, but we're only on our second cup of coffee.

Several of the women say they were driven to come forward when Trump claimed in Sunday's second presidential debate that he had never, ever actually done anything like the behavior he bragged about in a 2005 Access Hollywood video. Jessica Leeds said she felt as if Trump was lying to her face, telling the Times, "I wanted to punch the screen" as she watched. Rachel Crooks also recalled being infuriated by Trump's claim that he'd never done any of the things he'd bragged about. Mindy McGillivray said that when she heard Trump's denials, she jumped up from her couch and yelled "You liar!" at her TV. People's Natasha Stoynoff said it was the 2005 Access Hollywood tape that brought it all back for her:

I felt a strong mix of emotions, but shock wasn’t one of them.

I was relieved. I finally understood for sure that I was not to blame for his inappropriate behavior. I had not been singled out. As he explained to Billy Bush, it was his usual modus operandi with women. I felt deep regret for not speaking out at the time. What if he had done worse to other female reporters at the magazine since then because I hadn’t warned them?

And lastly, I felt violated and muzzled all over again.

There's a nauseating similarity to all the allegations: woman is in Trump's vicinity, Trump pounces, Trump acts as if absolutely nothing was unusual about his behavior. He's Donald Goddamn Trump and he gets what he wants, after all. And then he moves on, not caring about the effect on the women, because they are not Donald Trump and are therefore disposable. And of course, now he says none of it happened.

Jessica Leeds said Trump started getting handsy when she was seated next to him in First Class during a business flight; she'd been in coach but a flight attendant offered to reseat her, which is a thing that used to happen before airliners became flying steerage sections.

About 45 minutes after takeoff, she recalled, Mr. Trump lifted the armrest and began to touch her.

According to Ms. Leeds, Mr. Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt.

“He was like an octopus,” she said. “His hands were everywhere.”

She fled to the back of the plane. “It was an assault,” she said.