PKONWEB Report (New York) — President Trump who has been accused of forcibly kissing or in other ways sexually harassing or assaulting more than a dozen women is now facing lawsuit from a former campaign staffer claims he kissed her without consent before a campaign event in Florida, the Washington Post reported Monday.
Alva Johnson, 43, worked on Trump’s Florida campaign when, she says, he grabbed her hand and leaned in for a kiss as he was leaving a campaign RV at an Aug. 24, 2016, event in Tampa. Johnson said she was horrified and turned her head as he leaned in and that the kiss landed on the corner of her mouth. Johnson’s sexual misconduct allegation is the first involving the president to have been made since his election and the only one to have occurred during the campaign.
Johnson’s boyfriend, mother, and stepfather all said Johnson told them immediately about the kiss, which she called “super-creepy and inappropriate” in an interview with the Post. But two people Johnson said were witnesses—a campaign official and former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi—said they had not seen Trump kiss Johnson. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also told the Post that the accusation was “absurd on its face” and that it “is directly contradicted by multiple highly credible eye witness accounts.”
According to the Post, Johnson at first decided to ignore the kiss and continued her work for the campaign. But after Trump’s Access Hollywood moment—an TV outtake in which he bragged about kissing and groping women without their consent because “when you’re a star, they let you do it”—two months later, she began to view the kiss as part of a larger pattern of “sexually predatory conduct” by the president, according to the lawsuit. She told the Post the kiss left her feeling “violated.”
According to the lawsuit, Johnson, who is black, is also suing over racial discrimination, based on claims she was paid less than her white, male counterparts. She is seeking unspecified damages for the emotional pain and suffering from the unwanted kiss.
Johnson contended in her lawsuit that after the Access Hollywood tape was published, she began to understand the kiss as assault by a man with a pattern of exploitative behavior and began to feel conflicted about staying quiet. “She still felt terrible, physically and emotionally, and could not sleep,” according to the lawsuit. She told her therapist she was having nightmares. She quit the Trump campaign, and, after becoming motivated by the #MeToo movement and her feeling that the administration had acted inhumanely during the implementation of its zero-tolerance immigration policy, decided to move forward with her lawsuit.