NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Donald Trump is denouncing reports of new allegations of groping and sexual assault.
The Republican presidential nominee took to Twitter Thursday morning after both The New York Times and People magazine published accounts by different women claiming they were inappropriately touched or kissed by Trump.
He said that the Times story on two women who allege he groped them years ago is “phony” and a “total fabrication.”
CBS2’s Dick Brennan reports Trump reiterated his stance at a rally in Florida on Thursday.
“These claims are all fabricated. They are pure fiction and they are outright lies,” Trump said.
During a rally in Ohio Thursday night, Trump accused the Clinton campaign of colluding with the media to make up false accusations from at least four women who claim the Republican nominee groped and kissed them without their consent.
“They wanna distract us from WikiLeaks,” Trump said. “These people are horrible people. They’re horrible, horrible liars.”
The Times said Jessica Leeds, of New York, told the newspaper she encountered Trump on an airline flight three decades ago. Leeds said Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt.
“He was like an octopus,” Leeds told the Times. “It was like he had six arms.”
Rachel Crooks, of Ohio, told the Times she met Trump at Trump Tower in 2005. Crooks said Trump kissed her “directly on the mouth” against her will.
“There are no anonymous quotations in this story,” Times reporter Michael Barbaro told “CBS This Morning” on Thursday. “These are people who are putting their names and reputations by the claims in these stories.”
Times reporter Megan Twohey said she also spoke with Trump himself for the piece.
“He got increasingly agitated as I continued my questions, started to yell at me and told me I was a disgusting human being,” she said.
Lawyers representing Trump are demanding the Times retract their story. Lawyer Marc E. Kasowitz has sent a letter to the Times saying the article is “reckless, defamatory and constitutes libel.”
Trump’s lawyer says the Times article is “nothing more than a politically motivated effort to defeat Mr. Trump’s candidacy” and the Trump campaign called the report “fiction” and a “completely false, coordinated character assassination.”
The Times published its account despite threats of legal action from the Trump campaign, CBS News reported.
“We already have substantial evidence to dispute these lies,” Trump said.
However, the writers of the piece stand by the story.
“There are no anonymous quotations in this story. These are people who are putting their names and reputations by the claims in these stories,” New York Times reporter Michael Barbaro said.
Trump is also going after a People Magazine writer who alleges Trump pinned her against a wall and kissed her without consent in 2005 as she was interviewing him for a wedding anniversary story.
According to reporter Natasha Stoynoff, the alleged attack happened when Trump was newly married to wife Melania, who was pregnant at the time.
He tweeted: “Why didn’t the writer of the twelve year old article in People Magazine mention the ‘incident’ in her story. Because it did not happen!”
At Thursday’s rally in Florida, Trump said, “The area was a public area — people all over the place. Take a look, take a look — look at her, look at her words, you tell me what you think. I don’t think so, I don’t think so.”
The writer says she didn’t publicize the incident at the time because she was ashamed, afraid of the repercussions and blamed herself for what she says happened.
When reached for comment by People, the publication says a Trump spokeswoman told the magazine “This never happened. There is no merit or veracity to this fabricated story.”
On Wednesday, “Entertainment Tonight” also released audio from 1992 of Trump talking about a group of young girls riding the escalator in Trump Tower.
In the clip, Trump asks one of the girls if she’s “going up the escalator.” When the girl replies, “yeah,” Trump turns to the camera and says: “I am going to be dating her in 10 years. Can you believe it?”
The Trump campaign has yet to comment on that video.
CBS Los Angeles also spoke with Tasha Dixon, a 2001 Miss USA contestant. She said Trump, who owned the pageant, would walk into dressing rooms unannounced as some of the women were ” half naked.”
“He just came strolling right in,” she said. “There was no second to put a robe on or any sort of clothing or anything.”
Trump’s own words to Howard Stern in 2005 sounded similar.
“You know, they’re standing there with no clothes, and you see these incredible looking women, so I get away with things like that,” Trump said at the time.
Trump was heard in a recently released tape from “Access Hollywood” that was recorded in 2005 bragging to then host Billy Bush on a hot mic that he kisses, gropes and tries to have sex with women who were not his wife.
On the campaign trail, Hillary Clinton pounced on the new claims against him.
“This latest incident about, you know, how he treats women. Well he’s doubled down. He double downed on his excuse that it’s just locker room talk,” she said.
First lady Michelle Obama was also on the campaign trail Thursday, blasting the Republican nominee.
“Strong men don’t need to put women down. People who are strong lift others up,” the first lady said.
Trump has been using WikiLeaks reports as ammunition against Clinton. On Wednesday, 1,900 additional emails were posted, said to be hacked from the Clinton campaign.
“WikiLeaks email show Hillary’s staff needs to give her secret notes on when to smile,” Trump told a crowd of supporters.
The hacked emails supposedly from the email account of her campaign chair John Podesta. In one email titled “needy Latinos,” Podesta urged Clinton to reach out to prominent Latinos, including former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, “notwithstanding the fact that he can be a d***,” CBS News reported.
In a 2011 exchange with Jennifer Palmieri, now Clinton’s communications director, Palmieri writes to Podesta about News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch raising his children as Catholic.
“I imagine they think it is the most socially acceptable conservative religion. Their rich friends wouldn’t understand if their friends became evangelicals.”
The emails could be damaging for Clinton, who is instead trying to focus on Trump.
“That is all they have left, pure negativity, pessimism and we are not going to let Donald Trump get away with it, are we?” she said.
Clinton did not mention the controversy during a stop at her San Francisco campaign office.
“We’ve already learned who Donald Trump is. What we have to prove in this election is who we are and what we stand for, and what we believe in,” Clinton said.
CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reports that WikiLeaks is promising to release more of its 50,000 hacked Clinton campaign emails every day.
CBS News is reporting that polls have Clinton leading in six of 13 battleground states.
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