A group of women who say President Donald Trump sexual harassed and assaulted them in the past are calling on Congress to investigate their claims.
The women, who were among at least 16 people who said Trump allegedly engaged in some sort of sexual misconduct with them in the past, spoke during a press conference on Monday afternoon and on NBC’s Megyn Kelly Today.
Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey, and Rachel Crooks spoke at both the press conference and on the talk show.
“I don’t know how many times back-and-forth, multiple, and then he kissed me on the lips,” she said. “I was shocked. Devastated. It happened so fast, I guess… I wish I would have been courageous enough to be like ‘what’s going on and you need to stop this.’”
During a press conference, Holvey said her “dreams” of being in pageants never included someone like Trump looking at the contestants like they were “his property.” Holvey says Trump came backstage during a Miss USA pageant in 2006 when the contestants were getting dressed.
“These dreams never included a man lining us all up to look us all over like we were pieces of meat,” she said. “These dreams never included a man coming into the backstage hair and makeup area, while I sat naked under a robe, as he walked around looking at us like we were his property… These dreams certainly never included this same man becoming president of the United States.”
Holvey said she hopes Trump will be “held accountable for his actions.”
Samantha Holvey, who accuses Trump of sexual misconduct, says her Miss USA pageant dreams "never included a man coming into the backstage hair and makeup area while I sat naked under a robe, as he walked around looking at us like we were his property.” pic.twitter.com/4obXNHzike
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 11, 2017
Leeds said some accusations of sexual aggression are being taken seriously, which gave her “hope” moving forward. Last year Leeds said Trump tried to reach up her skirt while they sat next to each other on a flight.
“People were being accountable, except for our president,” she said. “In fact, his staff made a big point of calling us all liars. So we’re at the position now where in some areas of our society people are being held accountable for unwanted behavior, but we are not holding our president accountable for what he is and who he is.”
During the appearance on Kelly’s show, Holvey said the “environment is different” than when they first shared their stories last year and that she was inspired to share her story again as more women have spoken out about sexual harassment and assault in their own lives.
“We are private citizens and for us to put ourselves out there, to try to show America who this man is, and especially how he views women, for them to say, ‘Meh, we don’t care,’ it hurt,” she said. “Now it’s just like, let’s try round two. The environment is different, let’s try again.”
Women began publicly telling their stories about Trump following the release of the Access Hollywood tape during the 2016 campaign, where Trump bragged about getting away with sexually assaulting women, adding that he was able to “grab them by the pussy” because of his fame.
Last week, the White House said it stands by Trump’s claim that the women are lying.
“We’ve been clear on that from the beginning and the president has spoken on it,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
At least two lawmakers have called on Trump to resign because of what several women have said about his sexual misconduct.