Multiple women who came forward with stories of being groped by Donald Trump cited his Sunday denial that he ever acted on comments from a leaked video about kissing and grabbing women “by the pussy” as the motivation behind their allegations.
“You described kissing women without their consent, grabbing their genitals. That is sexual assault. You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?” CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked Trump during the second presidential debate on Sunday.
“No, I didn’t say that at all,” Trump replied.
Pressed several times by Cooper to answer whether or not he had actually grabbed women by their genitals, as he bragged about doing in the 2005 “Access Hollywood” recording, Trump finally denied the charges.
“No, I have not,” he replied.
Since the debate, multiple women have come forward alleging that Trump groped them without their consent.
Jessica Leeds, one of two women who told the New York Times that Trump touched her inappropriately, said that she was motivated to come forward after she watched Trump tell Cooper that his comments were nothing more than “locker room talk” and that he had never groped anyone.
“I wanted to punch the screen,” she told the Times, according to a report published Wednesday, saying that it felt like Trump was lying to her face.
Mindy McGillivray, 36, told the Palm Beach Post in an interview published Wednesday that she was also motivated to come forward after watching Trump’s denial during the debate.
People magazine writer Natasha Stoynoff published a first-person account Wednesday alleging that Donald Trump forcibly kissed her during a 2005 visit to his Mar-A-Lago estate, and wrote that she too was compelled to come forward after Trump claimed in the debate that he never acted on his boasting.
The Trump campaign released a statement Wednesday calling the Times report “completely false.”
Watch the exchange from the debate below: