BOSTON (CBS) – “About 12 years ago, as a young receptionist at Trump Tower, I was forcibly kissed by Mr. Trump at our first introduction,” says Rachel Crooks, now living in Ohio.
But this is nothing new. She’s been telling her story publicly since the fall of 2016, and the page one story in today’s Washington Post contains little new detail.
And yet the president rushed onto Twitter this morning to claim: “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 cameras running?”
And yet Trump appeared to generically verify her story in the infamous Access Hollywood tapes when he told Billy Bush: “I’m automatically attracted to beautiful [women]. I just start kissing them, it’s like a magnet, I don’t even wait, and when you’re a star, they let you do it, you can do anything.”
But that didn’t prevent him from winning the election. So why even care about it now?
Because in recent elections across the country, female voter backlash against Trump and his party has become a major political force, fueling a Democratic victory in the Virginia governor’s race and a Democrat’s upset win in the Alabama senate race, a contest that became a referendum of sorts on predatory male behavior.
And while that backlash has damaged men from both parties, the widening gender gap in polling on Trump has the GOP worrying that it may be their undoing in this fall’s elections.
“That some men think they can use their power, position or notoriety to demean and attack women speaks to their character, not ours,” says Crooks, who is herself now running for elective office.
We’ll see in November if enough voters agree to upset the status quo in Washington.