"For us to put ourselves out there to try to show America who this man is and especially how he views women and for them to say 'Eh, we don't care,' it hurt. Trump accuser Samantha Holvey on @MegynTODAY pic.twitter.com/BIWZCYlQzA
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 11, 2017
More than a year after accusations of sexual misconduct were made against then-candidate Donald Trump, the former reality-star-turned-politician has yet to face any consequences for his actions, despite the growing number of his peers being outed as actors of inappropriate sexual activity and harassment. But this guiltless stretch may be ending sooner rather than later — Trump's accusers are once again speaking out, adding their voices to the wave of high-profile revelations against men in power . . . and they're firing at the president on all fronts.
First, three of them — former Miss USA contestant Samantha Holvey, former real estate receptionist Rachel Crooks, and businesswoman Jessica Leeds, who sat next to Trump on a plane — appeared on Megyn Kelly Today to raise awareness over their allegations after being dismissed during the 2016 election. "It was heartbreaking last year," Holvey explained to Kelly of how it felt to be denied legitimacy when first raising their allegations. But, given the current state of standing up to men in power, Holvey and her cohorts feel like the time is right to speak up. "Let's try round two," Holvey said. "The environment is different."
The accusers then followed their Today appearance with a press conference that streamed live to Brave New Films' Facebook page. During the half-hour conversation, the women pushed for Congress to place resignation pressure similar to that of Senator Al Franken on Trump, since their experiences and allegations are no different from those against the Democratic senator. "People are being held accountable for unwanted behavior," Leeds explained. "But we are not holding our president accountable for what he is and who he is."
Holvey, Crooks, and Leeds' renewed call for justice comes less than a week after Summer Zervos — a former contestant on The Apprentice — filed a complaint against Trump with the New York Supreme Court, alleging that the president kissed and touched her inappropriately. The three women and Zervos are four of 19 women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct, a fact he has denied by attempting to delegitimize the Access Hollywood tape in which he admitted to grabbing women "by the p*ssy." The appearances of Trump's accusers also come less than a day after Nikki Haley — a Trump Cabinet member and ambassador to the United Nations — said on Meet the Press that the president's accusers "should be heard."
As the walls close in on Trump regarding his inappropriate behavior, many are observing the confluence of these happenings as his "#metoo moment." Coupled with Trump and the GOP's backing of a divisive figure like Roy Moore, the cloud above the presidency and Republican party continues to darken. Yet, as serious as these allegations are, the accusers don't believe their stories will be the breaking point of his presidency. As Leeds noted in the press conference, she sees his downfall coming "most likely because of financial matters in the Mueller investigation."
"I unfortunately feel that the sexual aggression issue is kind of low on the issue of things wrong with Trump," she said. "It's important enough to me to bring this up and hope that we can get some sort of change in our culture."