It’s starting to look like, at least once or twice in his life, Donald Trump told the absolute truth: when he was talking about how he treats women.
In the wake of the secretly recorded tape from 2005 in which he talks about kissing and groping women without their consent, and the Howard Stern clip where Trump brags about walking in on naked contestants, more than a dozen women have come forward to say Trump did exactly that.
The latest, Kristin Anderson, says that when she was at a nightclub in Manhattan in the early 1990s, Trump — who she hadn’t yet even spoken to — slid his hands up her skirt and “touched her vagina through her underwear,” The Washington Post wrote.
In other words, as Trump himself put it: “I don’t even wait… Grab ’em by the pussy.”
Now that women are coming forward to say Trump was telling the truth in 2005, in a reverse of his usual dynamic, Trump is frantically trying to claim he was just boasting. “Totally and absolutely false,” he said in a rambling speech at a Florida rally Thursday: “These claims are all fabricated. Full of fiction and outright lies. These events never, ever happened.”
But Trump isn’t just contradicting the women coming forward. He’s contradicting his own account of his actions. Line up Trump’s own words about his behavior with the words his accusers use and there’s an undeniable similarity.
On “kissing” and “grabbing”
Trump’s words: “I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. When you’re a star, they let you do it. … Grab ’em by the pussy.”
Natasha Stoynoff, a former People magazine reporter, described Trump doing the same year the tape was recorded: “Trump shut the door behind us. I turned around, and within seconds he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat.”
Jill Harth told the Guardian Trump did to her something she described in a lawsuit filed in 1997: “He pushed me up against the wall, and had his hands all over me and tried to get up my dress.”
Kristin Anderson, a former model: “There was zero conversation. We didn’t even really look at each other. It was very random, very nonchalant on his part.”
Or compare it with how Temple Taggart, the 1997 Miss Utah, and Rachel Crooks, who met Trump when she was a 22-year-old receptionist working at Trump Tower in 2005, both described their first meeting with them: He kissed them full on the mouth. Both women said they found it inappropriate, gross, and weird.
On going backstage when “everyone’s getting dressed”
Trump’s words: “I’ll go backstage before a show and everyone’s getting dressed. No men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in, because I’m the owner of the pageant. … You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ‘Is everybody OK?’ And you see these incredible looking women, and so I sort of get away with things like that.”
Bridget Sullivan, a former Miss New Hampshire, described Trump’s visit to the dressing room in 2000: “The time that he walked through the dressing rooms was really shocking. We were all naked.”
Tasha Dixon, a former Miss Arizona, said he did the same thing the following year: “He just came strolling right in. There was no second to put a robe on or any sort of clothing or anything. Some girls were topless. Other girls were naked.”
Trump is now frantically denying everything. “Believe me,” he said at the rally in Florida, his frequent catchphrase throughout the campaign. “Believe me.”
The problem is it’s not just the women coming forward who have made it seem much more reasonable to believe them. It’s Trump himself. Either he was lying then, with all the evidence to the contrary, or he’s lying now — and the 2005 recordings were among the few times in his life when he has truly been as good (or as bad) as his word.