On Monday morning, Brave New Films, a non-profit, livestreamed a press conference which featured three women who have accused President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct. Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Cooks made powerful statements in which they asked the public and the government to investigate allegations against the president.
“As a little girl, I would watch the Miss USA Pageant every year and dream of being one of those beautiful, successful, incredibly confident women,” Holvey recounted during the press conference. “These dreams never included a man lining us all up to look us all over like we were pieces of meat.”
She said she has a new dream now: “that this man will be held accountable for his actions and that future generations of women can fulfill their dreams without worry of anyone treating them as if they are less than because they are women.”
Cooks recalled her story of being a receptionist in a Trump Tower 12 years ago. She said that she was forcibly kissed by Trump upon her first time meeting him.
“That some men think they can use their power, position or notoriety to demean and assault women, speaks to their character, not ours,” she said.
Cooks went on to say that she hopes Americans can put aside their political beliefs to hold Trump to the same standard as the media has held movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. She pleaded for Trump’s history of sexual misconduct to be investigated by Congress.
Leeds said that decades ago, she was sitting next to Trump on an airplane when he tried to kiss and grab her. She addressed those who claim that accusers are liars, seeking nothing but 15 minutes of fame. Leeds said that if she and the other women speaking out at the press conference wanted to be famous they would have pursued other careers. She described the situation of being in the spotlight for this issue as uncomfortable.
The three women also went on the Today Show on Monday to discuss Donald Trump’s alleged sexual harassment.
“We shouldn’t let politicians get away with this,” Cooks said, mentioning Democratic Senator Al Franken, who resigned last week after even Democratic politicians called for it.
Trump's alleged sexual harassment has also been brought to light by Republican women, including former Fox News anchor Juliet Huddy. However, she said she wasn’t offended by Trump’s action in that incident.
The White House has claimed that the women speaking out about Trump's sexual misconduct are nothing but liars.
During the press conference, another Trump accuser Lisa Boyne spoke by phone, recalling the time she attended a dinner party where she witnessed Trump allegedly made making women walk on top of a table in front of him so he could look up their skirts. Boyne recalled that when she told people of the incident over the years, she was mostly just blamed for hanging out with him.
Boyne said what makes her the maddest is when people dismiss the behavior as “locker room” antics.
“Everybody is normalizing him doing what he said,” Boyne said, referencing the Hollywood Access tape which Trump initially dismissed as locker room talk but later denounced as a fake tape. “That is the talk of horrible people. [...] That is not a normal way for anybody to talk.”
The White House's official position is that women speaking out about Trump's sexual misconduct are liars, with Trump saying: “All I can say is it’s totally fake news. It’s just fake. It’s fake. It’s made-up stuff, and it’s disgraceful, what happens, but that happens in the—that happens in the world of politics.”