A staffer who worked on the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump alleges in a new lawsuit that Trump kissed her without her consent and it “still causes her anguish.”
Alva Johnson told the Washington Post that Trump grabbed her hand and attempted to kiss her at a meeting with his supporters before a scheduled campaign rally in Tampa, Florida, on August 24, 2016.
Johnson said the incident took place when Trump was left a recreational vehicle. She said that she was able to turn her head in time, so the kiss missed and landed on the side of her mouth.
“I immediately felt violated because I wasn’t expecting it or wanting it,” Johnson told the Post. “I can still see his lips coming straight for my face.”
Johnson added that she had told her boyfriend, mother and stepfather about the incident the same day it happened, and all three individuals have confirmed this to the Post.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders in a statement to the Post denied the allegation, saying it is “absurd on its face.”
“This never happened and is directly contradicted by multiple highly credible eye witness accounts,” Sanders wrote.
Two individuals Johnson said witnessed the kiss told the Post they did not see it take place. One was an official on Trump’s campaign and the other was former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi (R). Of course they are highly partisan Trump supporters and would not say anything detrimental about the president.
Johnson is an event planner who lives in Madison County, Alabama. She is seeking an unspecified amount of money for “emotional pain and suffering.”
The lawsuit, filed Monday in federal court in Florida, also makes the claim that the Trump campaign discriminated against Johnson, who is black, by paying her less than her white male counterparts. A campaign spokeswoman, Kayleigh McEnany, rejected that claim as “off-base and unfounded.”
According to the Post:
“Johnson said she began to consider coming forward in October 2016, after video surfaced of Trump bragging about kissing and groping women without their consent. That was the moment, she said, when she came to view the kiss as part of a pattern of Trump doing whatever he pleased to women.”
She said she was nervous about speaking out but had come to regret having worked on the campaign. “I’ve tried to let it go,” she said, beginning to cry. “You want to move on with your life. I don’t sleep. I wake up at 4 in the morning looking at the news. I feel guilty. The only thing I did was show up for work one day.”
For Alva Johnson the encounter with Donald Trump was a traumatic, life changing event. But for Trump it was just one of dozens of times he has sexually assaulted women. Perhaps some day he will be held accountable for his attacks on women, and justice will (finally) be done.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.