This election keeps getting worse for Donald Trump. After last week's "Trump Tape" leak and a borderline disastrous second debate, further digging into the Presidential candidate's sordid past has uncovered even more dirt.
Investigative reporting team KFile, now of CNN but formerly of BuzzFeed, recently unearthed a wealth of disturbing things Trump has said on Howard Stern's show. There's plenty of misogynistic, unsettling, and generally not-okay sh*t in his comments — from agreeing with Stern's assessment of his daughter Ivanka as "a piece of ass" to calling a young woman in "high school or grammar school or whatever" a "hot little girl" to rating women by numbers — but the headline here is his proud admission of sexually harassing contestants in his beauty pageants.
Here's the relevant quote from the show, which you can hear for yourself in the embed above:
"Well, I'll tell you the funniest is that before a show, I'll go backstage and everyone's getting dressed, and everything else, and you know, no men are anywhere, and I'm allowed to go in because I'm the owner of the pageant and therefore I'm inspecting it… You know, I'm inspecting because I want to make sure that everything is good… You know, the dresses. 'Is everyone okay?' You know, they're standing there with no clothes. 'Is everybody okay?' And you see these incredible looking women, and so, I sort of get away with things like that. But no, I've been very good."
Seems Trump and the rest of the world have a much different concept of what being "very good" is.
Never one to be outdone, BuzzFeed this week published an article about how four women who competed in Trump's Miss Teen USA pageant in 1997 are now accusing him of walking into the dressing room while contestants — many of whom were underage at the time — were changing. Three of them wished to remain anonymous; the fourth is Mariah Billado, then Miss Vermont Teen USA.
We've been critical of BuzzFeed on these pages before, and their reporting of this story may open them to further criticism. The story leads with and emphasizes the four women who confirmed the story rather than the eleven who disagreed. (According to BuzzFeed, 34 of the 49 pageant contestants they attempted to contact declined to comment or could not be reached; 11 claimed they "did not recall seeing Trump in the dressing room," and four said the candidate entered the room while girls were changing. At least three women who participated in the pageant — Jessica Granata, Allison Bowman, and Crystal Hughes — have specifically denied the allegations.)
Even so, we're generally inclined to believe victims of sexual harassment — especially when those they accuse have openly admitted to their trespassing in other dressing rooms. At least one pageant contestant, Miss USA 2000 runner-up Bridget Sullivan, has publicly accused Trump of the same crime.
Whether more women will come forward publicly to accuse Trump of sexually harassing underage girls remains to be seen. At the time of this writing, Billado is still alone in making her claim public. We'll be sure to follow this story as it develops.
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