The president of the United States has been accused of sexual assault or harassment by 19 women over the years, ranging from stories of forced kisses to unwanted touches to full on assault.
But Donald Trump says none of them are true, and all of the women are lying -- never mind that some stories have been corroborated or the infamous Access Hollywood tape on which he admits to kissing women without ensuring the desire is mutual.
"I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything."
Trump has admitted on tape that he is prone to the very actions of which he stands accused. He admits he feels free to kiss, grab, or otherwise violate the physical space of women with or without their full consent -- because he is famous.
Following the tape's public release during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump apologized for using what he deemed "locker room talk".
But what of the women who have said for years that Trump actually followed through on those words? According to Trump, they should be disbelieved in favor of his insistence that he would never do such a thing.
Crooks told The New York Times in October 2016 that she encountered Trump outside the elevator in Trump Tower in Manhattan, where she worked for a real-estate-investment company. She said Trump shook her hand, wouldn’t let go, and then pulled her in for a kiss on the cheeks and the mouth. “I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that,” she said.
"A woman I don’t know and, to the best of my knowledge, never met, is on the FRONT PAGE of the Fake News Washington Post saying I kissed her (for two minutes yet) in the lobby of Trump Tower 12 years ago. Never happened! Who would do this in a public space with live security......"
"It is the first time, I guess, he's attacked me personally on Twitter, but his whole approach to this has been to deny the allegation of myself and, like you said, almost 20 women who have come forward. So it's not surprising," Rachel Crooks said in an interview. "But I would think as our president he would have more important things to do than tweet at me and try to discredit my story. I know what's true, he knows what's true and I think he should be afraid of that."
Crooks has been one of the loudest voices speaking out about Trump's past behavior. She is currently running for the Ohio state Legislature and her front-page feature in the Washington Post this week, "Is anyone listening?", grabbed the president's attention.