UPDATE 1:35 p. m.: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, at a rally in West Palm Beach, attacked the press for reporting accusations by a slew of woman who say they were victims of the billionaire’s unwanted sexual advances.
Trump’s appearance at the South Florida Fairgrounds was the first time he addressed the new accusations by four women -two of whom claim they were molested by him at his Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago.
He called the reports in The Palm Beach Post, the New York Times, and People magazine as “pure fiction and outright lies” and said the stories were a coordinated effort between the media and his opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“The most powerful weapon employed by the Clinton political machine is the corporate media, the press,” Trump said. “For them, nothing at all is out of bounds.”
Before Trump took the stage, First Lady Michelle Obama at another rally in New Hampshire gave a powerful and blistering speech against Trump, noting the Republican nominee bragged in vulgar terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women during a 2005 conversation caught on a hot microphone on “Access Hollywood.
“When you are star, they let you do it,” Trump says on the audio tape. At the debate with Clinton on Sunday, Trump wrote off the audio as “locker room talk.”
The first lady said, “This is disgraceful. This is intolerable” and said Trump’s excuse was “an insult to decent men.”
“This wasn’t locker room banter,” she said.
The Palm Beach Post in an exclusive reported that Mindy McGillivray said Trump groped her 13 years ago while she was at his Palm Beach club Mar-a-Largo.
Trump did not address the Post’s story at the rally.
People magazine writer Natasha Stoynoff also came forward to say she was also attacked by Trump at Mar-a-Largo during an interview about his wife, Melania.
Trump said the story turned out great and that he spoke to Stoynoff in a public place with “people all over the place.”
“This invented account has already been debunked by eye-witnesses,” Trump said but did not give any details.
“Why wasn’t it in the People magazine story,” he said.
The New York Times has a separate story detailing the stories of two other women about unwanted sexual advances by Trump in the early 2000s, including one who said the billionaire tried to put his hand up her skirt. Lawyers with the Trump campaign demanded an immediate retraction and threatened to sue the newspaper.
Trump said that the Times did not check out the stories of the women. “These events never happened,” he said.
Mindy McGillivray told The Post Thursday morning that she stands by her accusations, which the Trump campaign has denied.
“I’ve had a hard time getting sleep,’’ she told The Post, adding she noticed TV trucks outside her home last night and this morning.
McGillivray denied suggestions they’ve heard on media shows that the Hillary Clinton campaign asked her to go forward with her story. She told The Post she decided on her own to go forward because she said Trump lied during the debate.
It’s important “to set a good example for my daughter,’’ she told The Post. “It’s a respect issue for all women. If something like this happens to you, you should speak up.’’
Fort Lauderdale Attorney Adam Horowitz knows how hard it is for victims of sexual assault – be it rape or unwanted kissing and groping – to come forward.
But it was the last straw when they saw Trump during Sunday’s debate deny he ever forced himself on woman despite audio tape of him bragging about it. Trump had to be forced to answer the question by the moderator CNN’s Anderson Cooper.