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Multiple Women describe Donald Trump Kissing, Groping them at his Club in Florida

Trump has often criticized the media's reporting on his campaign, including singling out what he calls the "failing New York Times"

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Jessica Leeds arrives at her apartment building, Oct. 12, 2016. VOA

More allegations emerged Wednesday involving Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and what multiple women described as incidents of groping or kissing them on an airplane, inside Trump Tower in New York and at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

Trump, his lawyers and his campaign strongly denied they took place.

A common thread in the reports featured in the New York Times, Palm Beach Post and People magazine were women seeing the video that emerged last week in which Trump described kissing or grabbing women without their consent and his subsequent denial at Sunday’s debate with opponent Hillary Clinton.

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“No, I have not,” Trump said when debate moderator Anderson Cooper of CNN asked if the candidate had done the activities he boasted of in the tape.

The Times story featured two women, including a businesswoman who described sitting next to Trump on a flight to New York. She said he grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt.

“He was like an octopus,” Jessica Leeds told the Times. “His hands were everywhere.”

The other woman, Rachel Cooks, worked as a receptionist for a real estate firm located in Trump Tower. She said that in 2005 she introduced herself to Trump outside an elevator, but he then did not let go of her hand and kissed her on the mouth.

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“I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that,” Cooks said.

The Times also quoted Trump saying, “None of this ever took place.”

His campaign later called it an attempt to smear the candidate.

“It is absurd to think that one of the most recognizable business leaders on the planet with a strong record of empowering women in his companies would do the things alleged in this story, and for this to only become public decades later in the final month of the campaign for president should say it all,” the statement said.

FILE - Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump reacts at a campaign rally in Panama City, Florida, U.S., Oct. 11, 2016. VOA
FILE – Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump reacts at a campaign rally in Panama City, Florida, U.S., Oct. 11, 2016. VOA

And attorneys representing Trump sent a letter to Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet demanding the newspaper remove the article from its website and issue and apology.

“Your article is reckless, defamatory and constitutes libel per se. It is apparent from, among other things, the timing of the article, that it is nothing more than a politically-motivated effort to defeat Mr. Trump’s candidacy.”

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Trump has often criticized the media’s reporting on his campaign, including singling out what he calls the “failing New York Times.”

In the Palm Beach Post story, Mindy McGillivray recounted helping a photographer friend at an event at Mar-a-Lago. She said she was standing next to Trump and his now-wife Melania when she felt a grab and turned to see Trump look away quickly.

FILE - Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump arrives on stage at a campaign rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Oct. 10, 2016. VOA
FILE – Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump arrives on stage at a campaign rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Oct. 10, 2016. VOA

“It was pretty close to the center of my butt. I was startled. I jumped,” McGillivray said.

The other account involving Mar-a-Lago came from Natasha Stoynoff, who once covered Trump for People.

She wrote that she was working on a story about Donald and Melania Trump’s first anniversary when he took her on a tour.

“We walked into that room alone, and Trump shut the door behind us. I turned around, and within seconds, he was pushing me against the wall, and forcing his tongue down my throat,” Stoynoff said.

She said that afterward Trump added, “You know we’re going to have an affair, don’t you?”

People reported a Trump spokeswoman said: “This never happened. There is no merit or veracity to this fabricated story.”

A Clinton campaign statement called the new allegations “disturbing.”

“These reports suggest that he lied on the debate stage and that the disgusting behavior he bragged about in the tape are more than just words,” spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri said.

Meanwhile, the Clinton campaign faced more criticism of its own on Wednesday with the latest batch of hacked emails released by WikiLeaks.

The messages included correspondence from 2011 between Palmieri and John Halpin, a senior fellow at the liberal think tank Center for American Progress.

Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta speaks to members of the media outside Clinton's home in Washington, Oct. 5, 2016. VOA
Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta speaks to members of the media outside Clinton’s home in Washington, Oct. 5, 2016. VOA

Halpin wrote that the country’s most powerful conservatives are all Catholic and called their politics “an amazing bastardization of the faith.”

“They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy,” he said.

Palmieri replied by writing, “Catholicism is the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion. Their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they became evangelicals.”

Another 2011 email sent to current Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta from the head of a progressive group called for a “Catholic Spring,” adapting the pro-democracy “Arab Spring” in the Middle East.

“There needs to be a Catholic Spring, in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle-ages dictatorship and the beginning of a little democracy and respect for gender equality in the Catholic Church,” Voices for Progress President Sandy Newman wrote.

Pope Francis celebrates a jubilee mass in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Oct. 9, 2016. The president of Voices for Progress referred to the Catholic Church as a 'middle-ages dictatorship' in recently leaked emails. VOA
Pope Francis celebrates a jubilee mass in St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican, Oct. 9, 2016. The president of Voices for Progress referred to the Catholic Church as a ‘middle-ages dictatorship’ in recently leaked emails. VOA

Trump told supporters Wednesday the emails show Clinton staffers “viciously attacking” Catholics and Evangelicals.

“It’s just the latest evidence of the hatred that the Clinton campaign has for everyday faithful Americans,” he said. “If you’re a person of faith, I think you’re gonna vote for Donald Trump, and I have such endorsements and such support.”

Podesta said an FBI investigation into his leaked emails is part of a wider FBI probe into the suspected Russian hacking of Democratic Party emails — a charge that Russia denies.

Podesta alleged that longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone had “advance knowledge” of the leaks. Stone has admitted he has been in contact with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Stone also tweeted in August that WikiLeaks would attack Clinton and Podesta.

Podesta says Russia may be trying to influence the outcome of the U.S. presidential election to favor Trump, who has said he admires President Vladimir Putin.

Other leaked emails from the Democratic Party include allegations that Clinton campaign officials tried to discredit former Democratic presidential rival Bernie Sanders, and suggestions the campaign should laugh-off the controversy surrounding Clinton’s State Department emails. (VOA)

  • Diksha Arya

    Well this is not the first time he is accused of sexual harassment…

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President Donald Trump Can Begin Steps to Pull United States Out of Landmark Paris Climate Agreement

It was negotiated in 2015 with lots of prodding by the United States and China and went into effect Nov. 4, 2016

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President, Donald Trump, United States
In the Paris agreement, nearly 200 countries set their own national targets for reducing or controlling pollution of heat-trapping gases Wikimedia Commons

For more than two years President Donald Trump has talked about pulling the United States out of the landmark Paris climate agreement. Starting Monday he finally can do something about it.

Even then, though, the withdrawal process takes a year and wouldn’t become official until at least the day after the 2020 presidential election.

In the Paris agreement, nearly 200 countries set their own national targets for reducing or controlling pollution of heat-trapping gases. It was negotiated in 2015 with lots of prodding by the United States and China and went into effect Nov. 4, 2016.

The terms of the deal say no country can withdraw in the first three years. So Monday is the first time the U.S. could actually start the withdrawal process, which begins with a letter to the United Nations. And it doesn’t become official for a year after that, which leads to the day after the election.

President, Donald Trump, United States
Youths demonstrate for climate change during the “Fridays for Future” school strike, in front of the Ecology Ministry in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2019. VOA

If someone other than Trump wins in 2020, the next president could get back in the deal in just 30 days and plan to cut carbon pollution, said Andrew Light, a former Obama State Department climate negotiator now at the nonprofit World Resources Institute.

Light and other experts say the withdrawal by the United States, the second biggest climate polluter and world’s largest economy, will hurt efforts to fight global warming.

“Global objectives can’t be met unless everybody does their part and the U.S. has to play the game,” said Appalachian State University environmental sciences professor Gregg Marland, who is part of a global effort to track carbon dioxide emissions. “We’re the second biggest player. What happens to the game if we take our ball and go home?”

Someone else, probably the biggest polluter China, will take over leadership in the global fight, said MIT economist Jake Jacoby, who co-founded the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.

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The penalty for the U.S. “is not in economic loss. The penalty is in shame, in discrediting U.S. leadership,” Jacoby said.

Asked what the U.S. plans next, State Department spokesman James Dewey on Friday emailed only this: “The U.S. position with respect to the Paris Agreement has not changed. The United States intends to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.”

The agreement set goals of preventing another 0.5 degrees Celsius to 1 degree Celsius of warming from current levels. Even the pledges made in 2015 weren’t enough to prevent those levels of warming.

The deal calls for nations to come up with more ambitious pollution cuts every five years, starting in November 2020 in at a meeting in Scotland. Because of the expected withdrawal, the U.S. role in 2020 negotiations will be reduced, Light said.

President, Donald Trump, United States
Even then, though, the withdrawal process takes a year and wouldn’t become official until at least the day after the 2020 presidential election. Pixabay

Climate change, caused by the burning of coal, oil and gas, has already warmed the world by 1 degree Celsius since the late 1800s, caused massive melting of ice globally, triggered weather extremes and changed ocean chemistry. And scientists say, depending on how much carbon dioxide is emitted, it will only get worse by the end of the century with temperatures jumping by several degrees and oceans rising by close one meter.

Trump has been promising to pull out of the Paris deal since 2017, often mischaracterizing the terms of the agreement, which are voluntary. In October, he called it a massive wealth transfer from America to other nations and said it was one-sided

That’s not the case, experts said.

For example, the U.S. goal – set by Barack Obama’s administration – had been to reduce carbon dioxide emission in 2025 by 26% to 28% compared to 2005 levels. This translates to about 15% compared to 1990 levels.

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The European Union’s goal was to cut carbon pollution in 2030 by 40% compared to 1990 levels, which is greater than America’s pledge, said Stanford University’s Rob Jackson, who chairs the Global Carbon Project, a group of scientists that track carbon emissions worldwide. The United Kingdom has already exceeded that goal, he said.

“The U.S. agreement is not a tax on the American people. There is no massive wealth transfer,” said Climate Advisers CEO Nigel Purvis, who was a lead State Department climate negotiator in the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. “In fact, the agreement obligates no country to make any financial payments.”

Formally getting out of the Paris agreement is bad, but at this point after years of rhetoric is more symbolic than anything, said Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb. She said she is more worried about other Trump carbon pollution actions, such as fighting California’s tougher emissions and mileage standards and rollbacks of coal fired power plant regulations.

The U.S. was not on track to reach its Paris pledge, according to the federal Energy Information Administration’s latest projections.

The EIA projects that in 2025 emissions will be at 4959 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, 17% below 2005 levels, about 500 million tons short of the goal. Emissions in 2018 were nearly 2% higher than in 2016, the agency’s latest energy outlook says. That spike likely was from extreme weather and economic growth, Marland and Jacoby said. (VOA)