WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Donald Trump was brushing aside claims of sexual assaults Friday, even as more women stepped forward.
Trump contended that he doesn’t know and never even met some of the women accusing him of sexual assault.
Meanwhile, two more women came forward Friday — including one woman who was a former contestant on the apprentice who talked about a meeting with Trump at a Beverly Hills hotel in 2007.
“He then grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me again very aggressively, and placed his hand on my breast,” said Trump accuser Summer Zervos.
Another woman, Kristin Anderson, said Trump groped her at a Manhattan club in the 1990s.
“So the person on my right, who unbeknownst to me was Donald Trump, put their hand up my skirt,” Anderson said. “And I got up and I moved and I continued to talk with my friends, and they say, ‘Oh, that’s Donald Trump.’ I was like, ‘Eew, he’s gross, he just put his hand up my skirt.”
Campaigning on Friday, Trump ridiculed Anderson’s claim.
“I was sitting alone by myself and then I went, ‘Wha?’ to somebody? I just heard this one,” Trump said. “It’s like, it’s like unbelievable.”
Trump also responded to Jessica Leeds, who told the New York Times Trump’s hands were all over her on a plane more than three decades ago.
“’I was sitting with him on an aeroplane, and he went after me on the plane,’ – yeah, I’m going to go after her,’” Trump said sarcastically. “Believe me, she would not be my first choice — that I can tell you.”
Another woman, Rachel Crooks, said Trump kissed her without invitation in 2006 when she was a 22-year-old receptionist for a real estate firm located at Trump Tower.
Trump vehemently denied the allegations, and demanded through his attorney that the story be retracted. At a rally in Ohio, Trump said the media had “slandered and lied about me with false accusations.”
He said he, “never met these people” and added he doesn’t “know who they are.” Trump said his accusers have “made up stories.”
Trump also said his team has “substantial evidence to dispute these lies” that will be “made public in an appropriate way and at an appropriate time very soon,” CBS News reported.
The Times refused to retract the story, saying its reporters worked diligently to confirm the women’s accounts.
In a letter, Times attorney David McCraw said Trump “has bragged about his non-consensual sexual touching of women” and that multiple women had already come forward.
The GOP nominee charged that the claims against him are false and a distraction from the hacked emails from the Clinton campaign.
“Let me state this as clearly as I can: these attacks are orchestrated by the Clintons and their media allies,” he said. “The only thing Hillary Clinton has going for her is the press. Without the press, she is absolutely zero.”
Still, as CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported, the claims have thrown Trump off track from his message – forcing him to address the allegations during two campaign speeches in North Carolina on Friday.
He said the timing was suspect.
“I am a victim of one of the great political smear campaigns in the history of our country,” Trump said.
Trump’s wife, Melania Trump, is also threatening to sue a separate publication over another woman’s allegation of assault by her husband.
Lawyers for Melania Trump demanded Thursday that People magazine retract and apologize for a story in which one of its writers, Natasha Stoynoff, describes being assaulted by Trump at their Florida home, Mar-a-Lago, in 2005.
Stoynoff wrote that she had arrived to interview the couple for a story, and that when Melania Trump left the room, her husband pushed Stoynoff against a wall and assaulted her.
The story also says the writer and Melania Trump later ran into each other in New York and had a conversation. Lawyers for the Republican nominee’s wife say no such encounter occurred.
Trump has denied the entire account all together.
“Look at her, take a look at her words, you tell me what you think,” he said. “I don’t think so!”
In a statement, People editor-in-chief Jess Cagle called Stoynoff “a remarkable, ethical, honest and patriotic woman, and she has shared her story of being physically attacked by Donald Trump in 2005 because she felt it was her duty to make the public aware.”
“To assign any other motive is a disgusting, pathetic attempt to victimize her again,” Cagle said. “We stand steadfastly by her, and are proud to publish her clear, credible account of what happened.”
Trump’s running mate Mike Pence has come to his defense.
Speaking Friday on “CBS This Morning,” Pence said, “before the day is out, there will be more evidence that calls into question these allegations.”
“Donald Trump has — has asserted that all of these recent unsubstantiated allegations are categorically false and I do believe him,” Pence said.
A new Fox News poll has Trump trailing Hillary Clinton by seven points in a four-way race. Clinton has 45 percent of support, up against 38 percent for Trump, 7 percent for Libertarian Gary Johnson, and 3 percent for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.
President Barack Obama was on the campaign trail today, attacking Trump.
“All he had time for was celebrities and now, suddenly, he’s acting like he’s a populist out there. ‘Man, I’m going to fight for working people!’” Obama said. “C’mon, man!”
Hillary Clinton and ally Michelle Obama also say Americans are learning more about Trump’s unacceptable behavior every day.
“This is not something we can ignore,” Michelle Obama said. “Even a 6-year-old knows better. A 6-year-old knows this is not how decent human beings behave and this is certainly not how someone who wants to be president of the United States behaves.”
Clinton addressed the allegations against Trump in Seattle Friday evening.
“The whole world has heard how Donald Trump brags about mistreating women, and the disturbing stories keep coming,” Clinton said.
Meanwhile, Clinton is up against more embarrassing WikiLeaks releases.
In one of the latest released exchanges, pollster John Anzalone argued for Clinton changing her mind about the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal saying: “There are no other issues that labor cares about. This is it for them and they actually have voters on their side.”
Clinton did eventually change her position on the issue — something Trump has used against her ever since.
Other emails indicated that Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign had tried to move the Illinois Democratic primary to a later date, believing it might help her.
Clinton, in a pre-taped interview on the Ellen DeGeneres show, urged supporters not to be discouraged.
“There is a lot that is coming out, which is distressing on many levels, but I don’t want anybody to think that this election is over,” she said.
WikiLeaks says it has 50,000 hacked Clinton campaign emails and will release some every day until Election Day.
A new Marist poll came out Friday for two key battleground states. In North Carolina, Clinton is ahead of Trump by four points among likely voters. In Ohio, Clinton and Trump are within a point of each other.
Clinton had a fundraiser in Washington state Friday while Trump held two rallies in North Carolina. Donald and Melania Trump also met with Cardinal Timothy Dolan Friday morning, and was expected to attend the Al Smith dinner next week.
The candidates’ final debate is scheduled for next Wednesday.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)