A witness has emerged to undermine a story of a woman who claims she was groped by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on a cross-country flight back in 1980.
Trump has denied the charge.
“I have only met this accuser once and frankly cannot imagine why she is seeking to make out that Trump made sexual advances on her. Not only did he not do so (and I was present at all times) but it was she that was the one being flirtatious,” Anthony Gilberthorpe said in a note provided to The New York Post by the Trump campaign.
Gilberthorpe was then interviewed by the Post about the claims from Jessica Leeds, who told the New York Times and CNN that Trump groped her.
“The guy in the seat across the aisle could see. And I kept thinking, maybe the stewardess is going to come and he’ll stop, but she never came,” Leeds told CNN.
“That I sat there — eyes bulging — and not intervening is nonsense,” said Gilberthorpe, 54, who contacted the Trump campaign when he realized that the encounter he saw was the one making headlines.
He told The Post he was sitting across the first class aisle from Trump and Leeds. He said Leeds was wearing a white pantsuit. Leeds was “trying too hard” to get Trump’s romantic attention, Gilberthorpe said. “She wanted to marry him,” Gilberthorpe said. He said that Leeds, in fact, said as much when Trump got up for a trip to the bathroom.
Nobody got kissed, Gilberthorpe said, but Leeds was “very much in your face” with Trump, a headline-making real estate developer at the time.
“What she said about Trump is wrong,” he told the New York Post. “I mean, no decent human being could sit by and have a woman go on television and tell the United States of America — accuse an individual of sexually molesting. It’s wrong for Trump, it’s wrong for me. But you know something else? It’s wrong for the American people.”
He said he is willing to tell his story face-to-face with Leeds.
“I will go to head to head with her — I will meet her again. I will see her eyes across the table with my eyes and I will challenge her on the points she made. And I’ll tell you what, I would do this whether it was for Trump, for Clinton, for Obama, or for any man who’s been accused of sexually molesting someone when I know he did not,” he said.
“If there’s evidence Trump’s done it, sure, hang him from the post, but I was there, I was in a position to know that what she said was wrong, wrong, wrong,” he said.
Trump on Friday said all the stories of accusers who have come forward against him share one common trait.
“They are all false. They’re totally invented. All 100 percent fabricated,” Trump said. “They have no witnesses, there’s nobody around.”