Posted by: maboulette | October 24, 2016

The Evidence against A Nasty Man


Ruth Marcus Columnist October 21

trump

Even as the country recoils, justifiably, from the prospect of Donald Trump threatening not to respect the election results, let us not lose sight of the mounting evidence of Trump’s mistreatment of women — and his offensive debate dismissal of their claims.

At the second debate, Trump claimed that his taped boasting about grabbing women without consent was just that — all talk, no action. In the 10 days before the third debate, nine women came forward to dispute that assertion.

So moderator Chris Wallace posed the key question: “Why would so many different women from so many different circumstances over so many different years . . . all make up these stories?”

Trump’s response was a characteristically repulsive stew of dishonesty, outright lies, conspiracy theorizing and blame-shifting. 

Dishonesty: “Those stories have been largely debunked,” he said. Wrong. Actually, additional corroboration has emerged.

Trump mocks sexual assault accusers; calls Lies: “I did not say that,” Trump insisted, three times, after Hillary Clinton noted that part of Trump’s argument for his innocence was that the women weren’t attractive enough to merit his unwanted attention. Just go to the videotape.

Conspiracy theorizing: “I think they want either fame or her campaign did it. And I think it’s her campaign,” Trump said of his accusers. There is no evidence on either score. Indeed, a number of the accusers had to be coaxed to come forward. Some are Clinton backers; others are clear that they do not support her.

Blame-shifting: According to Trump, what we should actually be talking about is the violence at his rallies — instigated by Clinton. Or else, “her emails, where she destroyed 33,000 emails criminally, after getting a subpoena from the United States Congress.”  This is not actually the truth and if the debate hall were a courtroom, Trump’s answer would have been struck as nonresponsive.

So let’s examine the actual evidence. One of the most upsetting stories — because Trump’s alleged behavior interfered with a woman’s ability to do her job — is also one of those with the strongest contemporaneous corroboration. 

People magazine reporter Natasha Stoynoff, at Mar-a-Lago in 2005 to report a first-anniversary piece on Donald and Melania Trump, described how Trump pushed her against a wall and tried to kiss her, sticking his tongue down her throat.

Six of Stoynoff’s friends and co-workers have corroborated parts of her story. Upset, she called a former journalism professor in tears the night of the incident; he advised her to stay quiet for fear of retaliation. Upset, she called a close friend, Marina Grasic, the next day, to recount the incident. Upset, she told three People colleagues after returning to New York. 

Oh, and also, that moment when she bumped into Melania Trump outside Trump Tower, which Melania Trump says didn’t happen? Another Stoynoff friend recalls the encounter.

In other words: To discount Stoynoff’s story, you would have to believe that she was prescient enough to describe to five friends and colleagues an encounter with Trump  that mirrored his own taped account that would emerge 11 years later

To buy that this story was engineered by the Clinton campaign, well, you would have to believe that in 2005, when the notion of Trump running for president was a punch line at best, Clinton and her minions brilliantly recruited Stoynoff to concoct this story and plant the seeds of corroboration to spring on Trump years later, after the “Access Hollywood” tape leaked. Or that the campaign enlisted six witnesses in a current conspiracy to lie on their behalf.

The evidence in Trump’s favor?  The butler says he didn’t do it. That is, nothing seemed amiss when he walked in on Trump and Stoynoff. This would be the butler who posted on Facebook that President Obama “should have been taken out by our military and shot as an enemy agent” and said it was astonishing that “a common murder[er] is even allowed to run (killery clinton).” 

Mr. Trump, your witness.

Imagining this evidence assessed in court isn’t just instructive — it’s tempting. Because while the time has long passed for filing charges over the underlying behavior, Trump’s description of Stoynoff as “a liar” and “the dishonest writer from People magazine” opens the door to a defamation suit.

And the prospect of discovery, includes Trump being forced to submit to a deposition. Imagine the man who threatens to sue everyone in sight having to answer questions about his conduct toward women, under oath. What a fitting coda for such an ugly campaign, and for such a, pardon the phrase, nasty man.

Read more from Ruth Marcus’s archivefollow her on Twitter or subscribe to her updates on Facebook.

 

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