GREENSBORO, North Carolina — Donald Trump’s campaign advisers want him to focus on the issues, but the Republican nominee is continuing to talk about the allegations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct that have been leveled against him this week.
“My people always say, ‘Don’t talk about it, talk about jobs, talk about the economy,'” Trump explained to his supporters here on Friday. “But I feel I have to talk about it because you have to dispute when somebody says something.”
And for a chunk of his speech on Friday, Trump did just that, forcefully denying the allegations that he kissed and groped several women without their consent — actions that he had bragged about being able to do in a 2005 tape — and arguing that if just a sliver of voters believe those allegations, he will lose the election.
“If 5% of the people think it’s true — and maybe 10% — we don’t win,” Trump said.
Trump’s rant on Friday came less than two hours after two more women came forward to allege Trump groped them without their consent. One of women, Summer Zervos, made her accusations during Trump’s rally.
But Trump on Friday disputed the account of the other woman, Kristin Anderson, calling her story “nonsense” and “false,” arguing that he rarely sits alone, even though Anderson never claimed Trump was sitting alone at the time of the incident.
“I was sitting alone by myself and then I went wah to somebody,” Trump said, motioning to his side as he attempted to re-enact Anderson’s account of his behavior.
As he did a day earlier, Trump again argued on Friday that the allegations are part of a global conspiracy by the “establishment” — including the media and powerful special interests — to defeat his campaign.
“The whole thing is one big fix. It’s one big fix. It’s one big ugly lie. It’s one big fix. The press can’t write the kind of things they write, which are lies, lies, lies,” Trump said. “The only thing I said is hopefully, hopefully our patriotic movement will overcome this terrible deception.”
Trump repeatedly denied the allegations a half-dozen women have leveled against him just this week: “All false. Totally invented. Fiction. All 100% totally and completely fabricated.”
Trump also attacked the women who have accused him of inappropriate behavior, calling Jessica Leeds, the woman who accused him of groping her on a plane in the early 1980s, a “horrible woman,” apparently suggesting she was not attractive enough for him to grope.
“When you looked at that horrible woman last night, you said, ‘I don’t think so! I don’t think so!'” Trump said.
As he continued to deny the allegations, several of his supporters shouted back, “We believe you!”
Trump also suggested that the allegations against him were so unfounded that “they could say it about anybody,” including President Barack Obama.
“Why doesn’t some woman maybe come up and say what they say falsely about me, they could say about him? They could say it about anybody. They could say it about anybody. He better be careful because they could say it about anybody. Anybody at all,” Trump said.