Interviews with more than 100 women who have crossed paths with Donald Trump over the years reveals “a portrait of a predator who hides behind wealth and institutional power to frequently harass and abuse women,” according to a new book.
Esquire published an exclusive excerpt from All the President's Women: Donald Trump and the Making of a Predator, a book by journalists Barry Levine and Monique El-Faizy that weaves together a “detailed history of Trump's relationships with women, stretching back to his childhood and education as well as his rise through real estate, entertainment, and politics.”
On top of the allegations of sexual misconduct put forth by two dozen women, the book shines a light on 43 additional accusations that the president engaged in inappropriate conduct — including 26 allegations of unwanted sexual contact, Esquire said.
The excerpt describes one of those incidents in detail: Karen Johnson alleges that in the early 2000s, Trump forcefully grabbed her at a New Year’s Eve party and kissed her without consent.
During this time, the future president was dating Melania Knauss, who would eventually become his third wife and the current first lady. Prior to their engagement, according to the book, Trump “engaged in a wave of allegedly unwanted touching,” which included Johnson’s experience.
Johnson said she “was at Trump’s Palm Beach estate that night with her husband, who was suffering from multiple sclerosis, and another relative” to ring in the New Year.
She had not seen Trump at all that evening, until she and her companions were preparing to leave the party. On her way to the restroom, Johnson encountered her host.
“I was just walking to the bathroom. I was grabbed and pulled behind a tapestry, and it was him. And I’m a tall girl and I had six-inch heels on, and I still remember looking up at him. And he’s strong, and he just kissed me,” she recounted to us. “I was so scared because of who he was... I don’t even know where it came from. I didn’t have a say in the matter.”
Johnson said Trump then grabbed her hand and said, “You have to help me greet these guests out,” explaining that Melania was upstairs. “So I stood next to him while he greeted some guests out the door,” Johnson said. She didn’t let on that anything was amiss because she didn’t want to create an awkward situation. “I was afraid to say what had happened,” she said. “I didn’t even know how it happened.”
When the Access Hollywood tape became public during the 2016 election, Johnson said it hit home for her.
“When he says that thing, ‘Grab them in the pussy,’ that hits me hard because when he grabbed me and pulled me into the tapestry, that’s where he grabbed me—he grabbed me there in my front and pulled me in,” she said.
Following the incident at Mar-a-Lago, Trump pursued Johnson almost obsessively, she said.
“He started calling me. I answered my phone and he said, ‘Do you know who this is?’ And I knew his voice. And I was wondering how he got my phone number,” Johnson said, according to the book.
Trump went on to call her regularly for another week or two, even offering to fly her to New York to see him. Trump appeared unwilling to take no for an answer, even when Johnson told him she had to stay home to care for her dying husband.
“Don’t worry about it, he’ll never know you were gone,” she said Trump told her. “He said he’d have me back by six o’clock. This was like crazy. He was going to fly me to New York for the day to see him. I said, ‘No, no, no.’”
He called her during a trip to Florida and said he wanted to send a car to bring her to Mar-a-Lago. “I kept saying, ‘No, no, no,’” she said. “I was scared. I didn’t know what to do.”
Eventually, Trump ended his pursuit and the calls stopped, Johnson said.