A former staffer of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign has filed a lawsuit against the United States president, alleging that he kissed her without consent, The Washington Post reported on Monday.
The woman, who worked as the campaign’s outreach and coalitions in Alabama state, said Trump grabbed her hand and leaned in to kiss her on the lips as he got out of a vehicle at a rally in Tampa in August 2016. The woman said said she turned her head and the kiss landed on the side of her mouth, which she called “super-creepy and inappropriate.” “I immediately felt violated because I wasn’t expecting it or wanting it,” she said.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders dismissed the allegation as “absurd on its face.” “This never happened and is directly contradicted by multiple highly credible eye witness accounts,” Sanders said.
The woman’s boyfriend, mother and stepfather have confirmed the incident to The Washington Post, while two Trump supporters who she identified as witnesses have denied seeing the alleged kiss.
The woman filed the lawsuit in Florida on Monday, seeking damages for emotional pain and suffering. The lawsuit alleged that the campaign discriminated against her because she is black, and paid her less than her white male counterparts.
Several women have accused the president of sexual misconduct, which he has repeatedly denied. In October 2016, a tape was leaked of Trump talking to NBC’s Today Show co-host, Billy Bush, about kissing, groping and attempting to have sex with women. He had said, “when you’re a star, they let you do it.” Trump later issued an apology, but also appeared to defend his remarks, calling it just “locker room banter”.