Donald Trump vowed to sue the women who have accused him of sexual assault during a speech in Gettysburg, Pa., that was billed as an address about his first 100 days in office but focused initially on a litany of grievances against his accusers and the media.
Nearly a dozen women have come forward in recent weeks to accuse Trump of groping them against their will, raising serious concerns about Trump's treatment of women. The women's accounts, which bear striking similarities, notably match comments Trump made in a 2005 “Access Hollywood,” where he bragged about being able to force himself on women against their will because of his celebrity.
“Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign. Total fabrication,” Trump insisted Saturday. “The events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.”
Trump has denied the women's allegations. Many of the published accounts detailing the women's accusations have offered witnesses and other evidence in support of the women's version of events.
Trump has long had a reputation for using litigation as a weapon to deter criticism. Earlier this month he threatened to sue the New York Times for printing the accounts of two women, though he has not yet moved forward with that threat.
During his speech, Trump blasted the media and said that the women and news organizations are attempting to “poison” the minds of American voters. He also said, without providing evidence, that the accusations were the doing of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign. He added later that, “we’ll probably find out about their involvement at later through litigation, and I look so looking forward to doing that.”
“A simple phone call placed to the biggest newspapers or television networks gets them wall-to-wall coverage, with virtually no fact checking whatsoever,” he said. “Here is why this is relevant to you. If they can fight somebody like me, who has unlimited resources to fight back, just look at what they can do to you.”
Trump has on several occasions defended himself against the accusations by mocking the physical appearances of the women.
Trump also accused the DNC and the Clinton campaign of stirring violent protests at some of his campaign rallies. He appeared to be referring to a tape by a conservative activist group, Project Veritas Action, which recorded a Democratic operative talking about the sometimes violent tensions at Trump rallies. Neither the Clinton campaign nor the DNC were implicated in provoking violence, as Trump incorrectly suggested.
While making charges of bias, he also accused reporters of not sufficiently covering his crowd sizes.
“The dishonest mainstream media is also part, and a major part, of this corruption. They’re corrupt,” he said. “They lie and fabricate stories to make a candidate that is not their preferred choice look as bad and even dangerous as possible. At my rallies, they never show or talk about the massive crowd size and try to diminish all of our events.”
The media routinely offers crowd estimates for both Republican and Democratic campaign events.
Johnson reported from Gettysburg, Pa.