A former staffer on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign says he kissed her without her consent outside a rally in Florida in August 2016, The Washington Post reported Monday.
“I immediately felt violated because I wasn’t expecting it or wanting it,” the staffer, Alva Johnson, told the Post. “I can still see his lips coming straight for my face.”
The allegation is described in a federal lawsuit filed Monday in Florida, in which Johnson is seeking unspecified damages for emotional pain and suffering, according to the Post.
Trump grabbed Johnson’s hand and tried to kiss her on the lips as he exited an RV outside the Tampa rally on Aug. 24, 2016, she alleges in the lawsuit and told the Post in a series of interviews.
Johnson told the Post she turned her head to avoid the unwanted kiss, which landed on the side of her mouth and felt “super-creepy and inappropriate.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders rejected Johnson’s accusation, calling it “absurd on its face.”
“This never happened and is directly contradicted by multiple highly credible eye witness accounts,” Sanders said in a statement.
Johnson identified a campaign official and then-Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi as witnesses. However, both parties told the Post they did not see the alleged kiss.
In her lawsuit, Johnson, who is black, also alleges that Trump’s campaign discriminated against her by paying her less than her white colleagues. Trump’s campaign has denied the accusation.
At least 21 other women have accused Trump of various instances of sexual misconduct between the early 1980s and mid-2000s. He has vehemently denied the allegations.
In the now-infamous “Access Hollywood” tape recorded in 2005 and made public in October 2016, Trump bragged about making sexual advances on women without their consent.
“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful [women],” Trump can be heard telling host Billy Bush. “I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.