Trump Threatens to Sue New York Times Over Groping Story, Times Dares Him To
Donald Trump is threatening to sue The New York Times for defamation in response to a Times article published Wednesday night that quoted two women who accused Trump of kissing and groping them without their consent.
Times reporter Megan Twohey wrote in the article that when she asked Trump on Tuesday night to comment on the allegations, he called her “a disgusting human being,” accused the Times of making up the story and said that he would sue the paper if it ran the story.
Then on Wednesday, one of Trump’s lawyers sent a formal letter to the Times threatening a lawsuit if it published the story, according to CNN’s Brian Stelter.
Shortly after midnight on Thursday, the Trump campaign emailed reporters a letter that a lawyer representing Trump had sent to Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet.
The Times is standing by its story.
“I think it is pretty evident this story falls clearly in the realm of public service journalism, and discussing issues that arose from the tape and his comments since it surfaced,” Times editor Dean Baquet told Stelter.
Trump has threatened legal action against the Times and other news organizations before. Two weeks ago, his lawyer Marc Kasowitz threatened to sue the paper for invasion of privacy after it published excerpts from his tax returns. Trump subsequently talked up the potential for a suit in rallies and appearances, finally saying he wouldn’t do it yet but was keeping an eye on the newspaper’s coverage of him.
On Wednesday night, The Palm Beach Post and Yahoo News reported on additional allegations of sexual harassment against Trump. The Palm Beach Post interviewed Mindy McGillivray, who said that Trump groped her at his Mar-a-Lago estate 10 years ago. Yahoo quoted a Facebook comment from Cassandra Searles, Miss Washington 2013 in Trump’s Miss Universe pageant, who wrote that Trump had grabbed her and invited her to his hotel room.
Trump has denied both allegations. Post publisher Tim Burke told POLITICO that he’s not aware of the paper receiving any legal threats from Trump or his campaign.
The Times responded Thursday with a letter daring Trump to go through with a lawsuit.
NYT responds to Trump re: cease and desist pic.twitter.com/3AozcWSIl6
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) October 13, 2016