CNN’s Erin Burnett reported Friday night that a woman she’s friends with told her that in 2010, Donald Trump kissed her without her consent. Burnett reported that the GOP presidential nominee allegedly invited the woman into his office alone, told her she was special and gave her his cell phone number. “I ran the hell out of there,” the woman told Burnett.
The report of the alleged assault comes hours after an explicit 2005 video emerged in which Trump can be heard discussing women in lewd terms to TV show host Billy Bush, saying, “I’m automatically attracted to beautiful [women]. I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.” Trump goes on to say that “when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything ... Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
In the video, which was obtained by The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold, Trump says, “I gotta use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her,” referring to a soap opera actress he was about to meet.
Burnett’s friend said she recognized that detail. “The Tic Tacs,” Burnett said, quoting her friend. “That’s exactly what Trump did to me. Trump took Tic Tacs, suggested that I take them also. He then leaned in ... catching me off guard and kissed me almost on the lips. I was really freaked out.”
The woman told Burnett that after kissing her without her consent, “Trump asked me to come into his office alone. I figured I could handle myself. Anyway, once in his office he kept telling me how special I am and gave me his cell phone and asked me to call him. I ran the hell out of there.”
The story Burnett reported is not the first time Donald Trump has been accused of doing exactly what he brags about in the video: kissing women without their consent. In May, as part of a story reporting on Trump’s long history of inappropriate behavior toward women, The New York Times reported that in 1997 Trump kissed Temple Taggart, then the 21-year-old Miss Utah, on the lips without asking. “He kissed me directly on the lips,” she told the NYT. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, gross.’” Taggart added that she thought “there were a few other girls that he kissed on the mouth. I was like ‘Wow, that’s inappropriate.’”
In a statement released Friday, Trump brushed off the severity of the 2005 conversation.
“This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago,” Trump said. “[Former President] Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course ― not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.