US President Donald Trump pushed back against accusations made by a woman who said he forcibly kissed her in Trump Tower back in 2006 saying it "never happened". In a series of tweets, Trump dismissed the account of Rachel Crooks, one of the 19 women who have come forward accusing him of sexual misconduct, and claimed he never met her.
In a Washington Post feature published on Monday (19 February), Crooks recounted her story that Trump kissed her without her consent on the 24th floor of the Manhattan building in January 2006. She was a 22-year-old secretary at the time.
"He started kissing me on one cheek, then the other cheek," she told The Post. "He was talking to me in between kisses, asking where I was from, or if I wanted to be a model. He wouldn't let go of my hand, and then he went right in and started kissing me on the lips.
"It felt like a long kiss," she added. "The whole thing probably lasted two minutes, maybe less."
Earlier this month, Crooks announced that she was running for a seat in the Ohio legislature.
Trump, however, appeared to hit back at Crooks' claims saying: "A woman I don't know and, to the best of my knowledge, never met, is on the FRONT PAGE of the Fake News Washington Post saying I kissed her (for two minutes yet) in the lobby of Trump Tower 12 years ago. Never happened! Who would do this in a public space with live security cameras running.
"Another False Accusation. Why doesn't @washingtonpost report the story of the women taking money to make up stories about me? One had her home mortgage paid off. Only @FoxNews so reported...doesn't fit the Mainstream Media narrative."
Just over an hour later, Crooks immediately clapped back at Trump on Twitter.
Social media users immediately ripped apart Trump's denial of the incident saying his claim that it "never happened" because he would never do such a thing "in a public space with live security cameras running" only made him look "guilty and creepy".
"So you're saying you WOULD do this if you didn't think you'd be caught," one Twitter user asked.
Another added: "Yeah, be smart! You should only assault women in private, away from security cameras and prying eyes!"
Meanwhile, others pointed out Trump's history of making controversial statements and pointed to the infamous Access Hollywood tape in which Trump bragged about groping women.