The taint on Trump

What has our country become? A country that accepts rapists as their leaders?

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Image Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

In the past few weeks, there have appeared two stories which have strongly suggested that President Trump has been involved in dark sexual activity – including rape in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room and child sex trafficking.  The latter is tied to Trump’s past friendship to Jeffrey Epstein, about whom Trump at one time said, “He’s a lot of fun to be with.” Trump was quoted as saying,“It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it – Jeffrey enjoys his social life.” 

Jeffrey Eldridge was infamously convicted of child sex trafficking in 2008 and in past weeks has been re-arrested on similar charges. The most scandalous of the sexual connections between Trump and Epstein involved a gathering at Trump’s place with 28 young women, Epstein, Trump and no other guests

Here is that story.  Donald Trump now says he’s “not a fan” of Jeffrey Epstein, a convenient way to feel about the disgraced financier in the aftermath of his 2008 conviction on soliciting underage girls for prostitution and his indictment in 2019 on charges of sex trafficking minors. (Epstein has pleaded not guilty.) But that wasn’t always the case. There was a time when Trump could be counted among Epstein’s rich, well-connected friends. And, according to a recent report in the New York Times, the relationship may have been a good deal closer than the president has let on.

Per the Times, Trump in 1992 directed Florida businessman George Houraney—who would later accuse Trump of sexually harassing his former girlfriend and business partner, Jill Harth—to organize a members’ only “calendar girl” competition at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. After Houraney “arranged to have some contestants fly in,” he told the Times in an interview, he discovered that there would be only two attendees. “At the very first party, I said, ‘Who’s coming tonight? I have 28 girls coming.’ It was him and Epstein,” Houraney recalled. “I said, ‘Donald, this is supposed to be a party with V.I.P.s. You’re telling me it’s you and Epstein?’” The anecdote underscores the friendship between the pair, and suggests that their relationship proceeded in spite of warnings about Epstein’s behavior. Houraney “pretty much had to ban Jeff from my events,” he said. “Trump didn’t care about that.”

President Donald Trump and Jeffrey Epstein, the 66-year-old hedge fund manager charged this week with sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking, were the only other attendees to a party that consisted of roughly two dozen women at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, according to a New York Times report.

In 1992, the women were reportedly flown in for a “calendar girl” competition that was requested by Trump, The Times said.

“At the very first party, I said, ‘Who’s coming tonight? I have 28 girls coming,'” former Trump associate George Houraney reportedly said. “It was him and Epstein.”

“I said, ‘Donald, this is supposed to be a party with VIPs. You’re telling me it’s you and Epstein,” he recalled saying.

Houraney claimed to have warned Trump about Epstein’s behavior and said the real estate tycoon did not heed his notice. Houraney, a businessman, reportedly said Trump “didn’t care” about how he had to ban Epstein from his events.

Houraney also said that he warned President Trump about Epstein, telling him that he ‘pretty much had to ban Jeff from my events.’
President Trump did not seem concerned though, according to Houraney. ‘I said, “Look, Donald, I know Jeff really well, I can’t have him going after younger girls,”‘ recalled Houraney.
Trump replied, “Look I’m putting my name on this. I wouldn’t put my name on it and have a scandal.”‘

Houraney had a falling out with Trump after his Houraney’s girlfriend accused Trump of making unwanted sexual advances in the early 1990s.

Trump previously said he knew Epstein for 15 years and suggested he was well-acquainted with the financier.

“He’s a lot of fun to be with,” Trump said to New York Magazine in 2002. “It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it – Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

Trump has since distanced himself from Epstein, who faces sex-trafficking charges from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he faces a maximum sentence of 45 years in prison. The charging document alleges Epstein “sexually exploited and abused dozens of minor girls at his homes in Manhattan, New York, and Palm Beach, Florida, among other locations.”  Epstein recently appeared in court and pleaded not guilty.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway recently said Trump has not had contact with Epstein “in years and years and years.”

Houraney was partners with Jill Harth at the time, both professionally and romantically, who would go on to file a lawsuit against President Trump claiming he sexually harassed her for years after their first meeting.  President Trump has denied that allegation.  He would eventually ban Epstein from the club, though Epstein was never an actual member. 

A former campaign worker said that he was told this ban was put in place when President Trump learned that Epstein had tried to recruit one of his workers.  And the relationship between the two soured to the point that Epstein actually blamed President Trump for the investigation into his alleged sexual abuse of young girls.

So the story shows that Trump arranged a 28-woman party at which both Trump and Epstein were the only male invitees.  Houraney warned Trump at that time of Epstein’s tendencies, assuming that he would deny knowing them.  And Trump later went after Houraney’s girlfriend.

The other story that has been coming out recently about Trump is an accusation on rape from E. Jane Carroll, a well known magazine writer.

The cover story New York published details an encounter the writer E. Jean Carroll had over two decades ago with Donald J. Trump, in which the then–real-estate mogul allegedly assaulted her in a dressing room of the Bergdorf Goodman department store in midtown Manhattan.

When Carroll meets Donald Trump in Bergdorf Goodman, the encounter starts as a friendly one. Trump recognizes her as “that advice lady”; Carroll recognizes him as “that real-estate tycoon.” Trump tells Carroll that he’s there to buy a gift for “a girl,” and though we don’t learn the identity of this mystery woman, Carroll places the ensuing incident in late 1995 or early 1996, during which time Trump was married to Marla Maples. When Trump asks Carroll to advise him on what to buy, she agrees, and the two eventually make their way to the lingerie section. Trump suggests a lace bodysuit and encourages Carroll to try it on; she, deflecting, jokingly suggests that he try it on instead. After they reach the dressing rooms, events turn violent. In Carroll’s account, Trump shoves her against a wall inside a dressing room, pulls down her tights, and, “forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway — or completely, I’m not certain — inside me.”

Carroll, 75, is a venerated Elle advice columnist. At the time of the attack, she was well known in her own right. A frequent feature writer for magazines like Playboy and Esquire, she had her own television show on America’s Talking, the precursor to MSNBC. Trump had his own record. By the time of his alleged assault on Carroll, Trump’s ex-wife, Ivana, had already claimed that Trump violated her during their marriage. (Ivana recanted the claim after Trump launched his campaign for the presidency.) Further news reports, published in 2016, place at least four other alleged sexual-assault claims, made by Kristin Anderson, Jill Harth, Cathy Heller, and Temple Taggart McDowell, in the years before and during the time period of Carroll’s account.

Carroll is now at least the 16th woman to accuse Donald Trump of sexual misconduct. The incidents, which date from the 1990s, are highly specific and related with dark humor.  Trump, she writes, “yammers about himself like he’s Alexander the Great ready to loot Babylon.” But she is clear, sometimes clinical, about the violence she experienced. 

Carroll says that she disclosed the Trump incident to two friends at the time. One, whom Carroll describes as “a journalist, magazine writer, correspondent on the TV morning shows, author of many books, etc.,” told her to go to the police: “‘He raped you,’ she kept repeating when I called her. ‘He raped you. Go to the police! I’ll go with you. We’ll go together.’” The other, who is also a journalist, was sympathetically cautious: “‘Tell no one. Forget it! He has 200 lawyers. He’ll bury you.’” Carroll writes that the Donna Karan coat-dress she wore that day “still hangs on the back of my closet door.” She wore it for the first time since the attack for her portrait session with New York for the cover, above.

New York has verified that Carroll did disclose the attack to these friends at the time, and has confirmed that Bergdorf Goodman kept no security footage that would prove or disprove Carroll’s story. New York has also sought comment from Trump. A senior White House official said in a statement, “This is a completely false and unrealistic story surfacing 25 years after allegedly taking place and was created simply to make the President look bad.”

As for why Carroll has come forward only now, she writes that she dreaded the public humiliation that awaits her. “Receiving death threats, being driven from my home, being dismissed, being dragged through the mud,” she writes, “and joining the 15 women who’ve come forward with credible stories about how the man grabbed, badgered, belittled, mauled, molested, and assaulted them, only to see the man turn it around, deny, threaten, and attack them, never sounded like much fun.”

Update: In a statement released to the White House Press Pool, Donald Trump denied Carroll’s allegation, saying that ” I’ve never met this person in my life.” The full statement is below.

Regarding the “story” by E. Jean Carroll, claiming she once encountered me at Bergdorf Goodman 23 years ago. I’ve never met this person in my life. She is trying to sell a new book – that should indicate her motivation. It should be sold in the fiction section.

Shame on those who make up false stories of assault to get publicity for themselves, or sell a book, or carry out a political agenda – like Julie Swetnick who falsely accused Justice Brett Kavanaugh. It’s just as bad for people to believe it, particularly when there is zero evidence. Worse still for a dying publication to try to prop itself up by peddling fake news – it’s an epidemic.

Ms. Carroll & New York Magazine: No pictures? No surveillance? No video? No reports? No sales attendants around?? I would like to thank Bergdorf Goodman for confirming they have no video footage of any such incident, because it never happened.

False accusations diminish the severity of real assault. All should condemn false accusations and any actual assault in the strongest possible terms.

If anyone has information that the Democratic Party is working with Ms. Carroll or New York Magazine, please notify us as soon as possible. The world should know what’s really going on. It is a disgrace and people should pay dearly for such false accusations.

WARNING: This story contains graphic detail of an alleged sexual assault

Advice columnist E. Jean Carroll says she waited more than two decades to accuse Donald Trump of sexual assault because she didn’t want to boost his chances of winning the 2016 U.S. presidential race. 

During the campaign, the Republican nominee denied the accusations of sexual misconduct by more than a dozen women dating back years. 

“I could see it was helping him. As the women came forward, he became more and more popular,” said Carroll, a well-known author who has dispensed advice to readers of Elle magazine since 1993.

In her first interview on Canadian radio, Carroll told The Current’s guest host Megan Williams that she’s seen allegations made against powerful men before — including former U.S. president Bill Clinton — only to be dismissed.

“We watch women put their reputations on the line, we watch women put their livelihoods on the line to come forward, and say what happened with their leaders,” she said.

“And the men are elected not despite, but many times because these women came forward.”

Carroll has written a book, What Do We Need Men For?, about 21 ‘hideous men’ in her life. (Macmillan)

The allegations against Trump are made in Carroll’s new book, What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal, released this month and chronicles attacks on her by “hideous men” during her life.

Carroll, now 75, claims the future U.S. president sexually assaulted her at New York City’s Bergdorf Goodman department store, in what she thinks was the fall of 1995 or spring of 1996. After he asked her to help him choose a gift from the lingerie department, she alleges he forced himself on her in a dressing room.

She told Williams that Trump threw her against the wall and “knocked [her] head really hard,” before he “unzipped his pants and inserted his penis.”

In June, Trump denied the allegation, insisting they had never met.

“I’ll say it with great respect: Number one, she’s not my type. Number two, it never happened,” he told The Hill in an interview at the White House.

Trump denied the allegation, and said Carroll is not his ‘type.’ (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

Carroll said she was prompted to come forward after the revelations of the #MeToo movement, and the realization that she had been answering letters about abuse in her column for years.

“They’re asking me, and I’m just full of malarkey because I’ve never admitted any of these things have happened to me,” she said.

“I felt they were owed the truth about the person they’re writing to.”

She spent almost 30 years offering advice on everything from orgasms to religion, but explains she has seen a common thread throughout.

“Ninety per cent of the time there is a line in the letter where the cause of the problem is revealed — and that cause is men,” she said.

“I want to get rid of men,” she told Williams, before adding: “I love men, OK, I love them. I just don’t want them to run everything.” 

I was not particularly interested in having everybody know it … I just thought he was a hideous man, one of 21 hideous men.

– E. Jean Carroll

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Do you believe E. Jean Carroll?  When you read what she writes against the words of the preceding story, where Trump joins Epstein alone to review the favors of 28 young women at Mar-A-Lago, how can you not believe her?  What would be her motive in lying – especially when she and her publisher made no particular advertising out of the Trump story?  Especially when there are 16 other accusers? Especially when Trump is known to have told 10,000 lies already as president? What are the chances that he is telling the truth now?

I think back about other presidents – some of which I liked and others of which I hated.  The ones I disliked the most – Nixon; W Bush – had terrible stories and did terrible things.  But nothing that they did was anything like Trump has done.   Who would admit to voting for a president a man who willingly rapes a woman with whom he has no relationship?  Would you vote for such a man if there were a decent chance that he were involved in such a crime?

If so, what has our country become? A country that accepts rapists as their leaders?

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