The New York Times responded Thursday to Donald Trump’s threat of legal action against the Times for its report on allegations by two women that Trump groped each of them, decades apart.
“The essence of a libel claim, of course, is the protection of one’s reputation,” David McCraw, assistant general council at the New York Times, wrote in a letter. “Nothing in our article has had the slightest effect on the reputation that Mr. Trump, through his own words and actions, has already created for himself.”
McCraw cited Trump’s comments in a leaked 2005 video, in which he bragged about grabbing women’s genitals, as indicative of his reputation. He also cited a 2004 interview resurfaced by CNN in which Trump acquiesced to shock jock Howard Stern’s request to refer to his daughter, Ivanka Trump, as “a piece of ass.”
“We published newsworthy information about a subject of deep public concern,” McCraw wrote. “If Mr. Trump disagrees, if he believes that American citizens had no right to hear what these women had to say and that the law of this country forces us and those who would dare to criticize him to stand silent or be punished, we welcome the opportunity to have a court set him straight.”
On Wednesday night, the Times published a report detailing allegations by two women who say that Trump touched them inappropriately. Several other women came forward in stories published later that same night with their own accounts of being groped or forcibly kissed by Trump.
After the Times published its report, Marc E. Kasowitz, a lawyer for Trump, sent the Times a letter calling the article “reckless and defamatory.”
At a campaign rally Thursday afternoon, Trump also claimed that his campaign was “preparing” a lawsuit against the Times.
Read the letter below:
David McCraw, NYT lawyer, responds to Trump’s letter. pic.twitter.com/ziPBCIjkvP
— Sydney Ember (@melbournecoal) October 13, 2016