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White House rejects Trump accusers demand for Congress probe

AFP | Washington |

The White House on Tuesday rejected calls for a congressional investigation of claims Donald Trump sexually harassed women, saying the American people had spoken on the matter by electing him president.

Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand called on Trump to resign, meanwhile, echoing a demand made the previous day by two other Senate Democrats.

Three women who claim they were sexually harassed by Trump before he ran for president urged Congress on Monday to investigate his behaviour and allegations of misconduct.

The three, who first came forward during last year’s presidential race with their claims of harassment, said they were speaking up again because of the current climate.

In recent months, countless women have broken their silence about abuse suffered at the hands of powerful men in the worlds of entertainment, the media, business and politics, in the wake of the bombshell allegations that felled movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

ALSO READ: Women lawmakers seek probe into Trump’s sexual misconduct allegations

“The environment’s different,” said Samantha Holvey, who claims Trump came backstage when she and other contestants in the 2006 Miss USA pageant were dressing.

“Let’s try again,” Holvey said, in explaining her decision to repeat her allegations.

Rachel Crooks, who says Trump forcibly kissed her on the mouth after she introduced herself to him at Trump Tower in 2005, urged lawmakers to “put aside their party affiliations and investigate Mr. Trump’s history of sexual misconduct.”

Crooks voiced hope “that we will hold Mr Trump to the same standard of Harvey Weinstein and the other men who were held accountable for their reprehensible behaviour.”

Jessica Leeds, who says she was groped and forcibly kissed by Trump on a commercial flight decades ago, said Trump has not been held accountable for “what he is and who he is.”

The White House swiftly dismissed the claims as “false.”

“The timing and absurdity of these false claims speaks volumes and the publicity tour that has begun only further confirms the political motives behind them,” a White House statement said.

Addressing reporters, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president “has addressed these accusations directly and denied all of these allegations.

“This took place long before he was elected to be president and the people of this country had a decisive election, supported President Trump,” Sanders said. “We feel like these allegations have been answered through that process.”