White House rejects call for probe into Trump’s sexual misconduct

The White House has rejected the call for a congressional probe into claims Donald Trump sexually harassed several women before becoming president.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president has addressed these accusations directly and denied all of them.

The allegations were levelled before he was elected president. The people of US had a decisive election and they supported Trump. The allegations had been answered through that process, she said.

Sanders’ reaction came hours after three women, who had previously accused Trump of sexual misconduct, renewed their claims, calling for a congressional investigation into his behaviour.

Rachel Crooks, Jessica Leeds and Samantha Holvey said at the news conference in New York that they were speaking up again because of the changed environment that has emboldened women to speak up about sexual misconduct.

“The environment’s different,” said Holvey who alleged that Trump came backstage and ogled her and other contestants when they were dressing at the 2006 Miss USA pageant. Trump was then the pageant’s owner.

Crooks, who alleges Trump forcibly kissed her on the mouth after she introduced herself to him at Trump Tower in 2005, urged lawmakers to “put aside their party affiliations and investigate Mr Trump’s history of sexual misconduct”.

Leeds, who alleges she was groped and forcibly kissed by Trump on a commercial flight decades ago, said Trump has not been held accountable for “what he is and who he is.”

As Crooks, Leeds and Holvey spoke at the news conference, Brave New Films introduced a video featuring 16 of Trump’s accusers. In the film, women accused Trump of kissing them without permission, grabbing their private parts, putting his hand up their skirts, or making other unwanted advances.