President Donald Trump said in a White House press conference on Monday, October 16, that sexual assault allegations against him are “totally fake news.”
The former reality TV star was talking to the press in the White House’s Rose Garden and was asked about a subpoena that was lodged on behalf of one of the women who has accused him of sexual assault.
“All I can say is it’s totally fake news,” he responded. “It’s fake and made-up stuff and it’s disgraceful what happens, but that happens in the world of politics.”
A lawyer for Summer Zervos, a former contestant on The Apprentice, subpoenaed Trump’s campaign for all documents relating to her, all communications with or about her and all documents concerning “any woman alleging that Donald J. Trump touched her inappropriately.”
The subpoena, obtained by BuzzFeed News, was issued in March but filed on September 19 and also seeks documents on any accusations made during Trump’s election campaign that he “subjected any woman to unwanted sexual touching and/or sexually inappropriate behavior,” and on Trump’s responses to allegations against him. It also lists nine other women who made accusations of sexual harassment against him.
Last year Trump tweeted a denial, saying, “Nothing ever happened with any of these women.”
As previously reported, Zervos, who appeared in season 5 of Trump’s NBC reality show, said in a press conference in October 2016 that the real estate mogul once thrust his genitals at her during a business meeting.
The former contestant was emotional as she told reporters how she had reached out to the real estate mogul about a job at his company in 2007, a year after her appearance on The Apprentice, only to be bombarded with unwanted advances.
Zervos claims that during their meeting at Trump Tower, Trump kissed her twice “on the lips,” and allegedly told her he would “love to have [her] work for him.”
“As I was about to leave, he again kissed me on the lips,” she alleged. “This made me feel nervous and embarrassed, as this is not what I wanted or expected.”
She called her parents and a friend about the inappropriate interaction but agreed to meet Trump a few days later at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
There, she claims, he kissed her “open-mouthed, pulling me towards him,” putting a hand on her breast and at one point thrusting his “genitals” against her while at his bungalow at the hotel.
Trump later released a statement insisting that the events Zervos details never happened.
“I vaguely remember Ms. Zervos as one of the many contestants on The Apprentice over the years,” he said. “To be clear, I never met her at a hotel or greeted her inappropriately a decade ago. That is not who I am as a person, and it is not how I’ve conducted my life.”
In January, Zervos filed a defamation lawsuit against Trump after he called her a “liar.”
Zervos is one of several women who came forward to make claims of sexual harassment against the then-presidential candidate in the days after a 2005 videotape recording of Trump bragging to Billy Bush about forcibly groping and kissing women was released in early October 2016.