White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed a former Trump campaign staffer’s allegation that President Donald Trump kissed her on the lips during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The former staffer, Alva Johnson, told The Washington Post in a report published Monday that Trump attempted to kiss her on the lips in August 2016 during a campaign stop.
“I immediately felt violated because I wasn’t expecting it or wanting it,” Johnson said, though two alleged witnesses to the incident both denied it took place.
“This never happened and is directly contradicted by multiple highly credible eye witness accounts,” Sanders said in response, adding that the allegation is “absurd on its face.”
Trump himself has not addressed the new allegations, but has denied past charges against him that surfaced during the 2016 presidential campaign as obvious politically motivated hit jobs. The president also riffed on the danger of immediate acceptance of allegations during the confirmation hearings of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, saying, “It’s a very scary time for young men in America when you can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of.” (RELATED: Brett Kavanaugh Is Now A Supreme Court Justice)
Trump added, “you can be somebody that was perfect your entire life, and somebody could accuse you of something.”
Johnson filed suit against the Trump campaign Monday, seeking damages for emotional trauma suffered after the alleged incident and claiming that she was paid less because she is black. Trump campaign press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement that the claim was “unfounded.”
Johnson claims that Trump’s alleged assault of her occurred in the presence of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Trump campaign Florida director Karen Giorno.
“Do I recall seeing anything inappropriate? One hundred percent no,” Bondi told The Washington Post. “I’m a prosecutor, and if I saw something inappropriate, I would have said something.”
Giorno also told the outlet “that absolutely did not happen” and that Johnson’s story is “ridiculous.”