POLITICS

Journalism Professor Supports People Writer's Claims Against Trump

Paul McLaughlin said Natasha Stoynoff called him after the sexual assault occurred.
Donald Trump has strongly denied allegations of sexual assault. But now someone has stepped forward to corroborate
Donald Trump has strongly denied allegations of sexual assault. But now someone has stepped forward to corroborate an accuser's account.

A Canadian journalist and professor is backing up People magazine writer Natasha Stoynoff’s claim that Donald Trump aggressively forced himself on her during a 2005 interview.

The professor, Paul McLaughlin, said Stoynoff, a former student of his, called him after the incident and they discussed how to deal with it.

“She didn’t know what to do, she was very conflicted, she was angry, she was really confused about how to deal with this,” McLaughlin told CBC News

After consulting with McLaughlin, Stoynoff decided that coming forward about Trump’s inappropriate advances would just be too risky after their conversation, according to McLaughlin.

“It was going to be a he said, she said,” McLaughlin told CBC News. “And we were talking about one of the most influential people in North America at the time. He was just flying high with ‘The Apprentice,’ he was aggressive, he was litigious.”

McLaughlin tweeted about their discussion as well.

On Thursday, Trump denied coming on to Stoynoff in part by asking why she chose not to make the alleged encounter the subject of her story. (He also insinuated that Stoynoff’s looks were not appealing enough for him to act in such a way.)

But in Stoynoff’s story, which came out Wednesday evening, the writer says she remained silent because she feared that a “famous, powerful, wealthy man could and would discredit and destroy” her. McLaughlin’s remarks confirm that she felt this way.

New evidence undercutting Trump’s rebuttal of another assault claim also emerged Saturday. 

Jessica Leeds said that Trump began groping and kissing her without permission while sitting first class on a Braniff flight from Dallas, Texas, to New York City in 1979. Trump claimed he could not have done so because of the armrest between them.

But entertainment news site TMZ discovered that the Braniff airplanes used for that flight had removable armrests between first-class seats.

A growing number of women have accused the Republican nominee of unwanted kissing and groping accusations this week after he vehemently denied assaulting women in Sunday night’s debate with Hillary Clinton. 

CNN’s Anderson Cooper, a co-moderator of the debate, had asked Trump whether the real estate mogul ever did the things he boasted about on a 2005 hot mic conversation with Billy Bush, who was then host of “Access Hollywood.” In a video of that conversation that leaked just over a week ago, Trump claims that his fame allows him to do “anything” he wants to women, including “grab them by the pussy.”

As of Saturday afternoon, 13 women have accused Trump of sexual assault, a Huffington Post count shows, the vast majority of them in the past few days.

Trump has provided no credible evidence to exonerate himself, focusing instead on insulting his accusers. The only witness Trump’s campaign produced to try and refute a woman’s claims against the real estate businessman has himself admitted to recruiting underage boys for illicit sex parties with Conservative Party officials in the United Kingdom.

Trump’s flailing response to the mounting scandal over his treatment of women appears to have hurt his standing in the polls. Clinton now leads Trump by about 8 percentage points nationwide, according to HuffPost Pollster’s polling average

Perhaps in anticipation of his forthcoming defeat, Trump has begun claiming that the election is rigged.

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.

HuffPost

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