One of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign staff members is now alleging in a federal lawsuit that Trump kissed her without her consent.
Alva Johnson, spoke exclusively to the Washington Post claiming that at a campaign rally on Aug. 24, 2016 in Tampa, Fla., the President grabbed her hand, bent towards her and planted a kiss on the corner of her mouth. Johnson said she saw it coming, although she wasn’t sure if he wanted to hug or kiss her.
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“As he got closer, she started to think maybe he’s trying to kiss me and she tried to move her head away at the last second to avoid as he came in for the kiss,” said Johnson’s attorney, Hassan Zavareei, in an interview with the Post. “Keep in mind she had a baseball cap on and was moving her head and yet he persisted enough to be able to actually land a kiss on the corner of her mouth.”
Zavareei said there were two witnesses to the incident – Pam Bondi, who was the attorney general in Florida at the time, and Karen Giorno, director of Trump’s Florida campaign. Both women denied to the Post that Trump kissed Johnson.
“Do I recall seeing anything inappropriate? One hundred percent no,” Bondi told the Post in an interview. “I’m a prosecutor, and if I saw something inappropriate, I would have said something.”
Giorno added that the incident “absolutely did not happen.”
However, Johnson maintains that it did. She said that she was so disgusted by the kiss that she immediately told her family and boyfriend right afterwards, and even sought counseling after she started having nightmares.
She also consulted with a lawyer in Florida on how to handle the incident, according to The Washington Post.
“I immediately felt violated because I wasn’t expecting it or wanting it,” Johnson said. “I can still see his lips coming straight for my face.”
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Johnson filed her federal lawsuit in Florida on Monday, seeking unspecified damages for emotional pain and suffering. The lawsuit also alleges that Johnson was discriminated against as a campaign staffer because she was paid less than her male colleagues.
In a statement to the Post, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the allegations are not true.
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“This never happened and is directly contradicted by multiple highly credible eye witness accounts,” Sanders wrote in the statement.
Johnson served on the Trump campaign as the director of outreach and coalitions in Alabama, joining in early 2016.
The first time Alva Johnson met Donald Trump, Johnson says he looked her up and down and commented: “Oh, beautiful, beautiful, fantastic.”https://t.co/UJQq9NxcyA
— Elise Garofalo (@elisegaro) February 25, 2019
Trump has a history of (a) abusing women, (b) viciously going after those who dare speak out, as a warning to other potential accusers to stay silent.
He now has the power of the White House behind him. We will not let him use it to attack Alva Johnson.https://t.co/XtHLVzEZ2h
— Women’s March (@womensmarch) February 25, 2019
More than a dozen other women have accused President Trump of inappropriate and unwanted advances in the past. In fact, the President is currently facing a defamation lawsuit in New York by Summer Zervos who claims he groped her in 2007 when she was a contestant on his “Apprentice” show. Johnson, however, is the first Black woman to come forward.
The post Former Black campaign staffer sues Donald Trump accusing him of unwanted kiss appeared first on theGrio.