In his characteristically Trumpy way, Donald Trump has denied sexually assaulting People Magazine writer Natasha Stoynoff, suggesting she is too ugly for him to have propositioned (“Look at her, I don’t think so.” Charming!). But today, People published the accounts of several witnesses who have corroborated Stoynoff’s story. Brace yourself for a shock: it looks like Donald Trump is almost certainly lying about this . . . just like he lies about, well, pretty much everything:
Marina Grasic, who has known Stoynoff for more than 25 years, says she got a call from her friend the day after the attack. Stoynoff detailed everything about the attack, from Trump pushing her against a wall to the business mogul showing up at her massage appointment the following day, she says.
According to Grasic, her longtime friend was embarrassed and even thought of Trump’s then-pregnant wife when deciding not to come forward about the encounter.
“Natasha was also struggling about not hurting pregnant Melania if the story came out,” Grasic says. “Beyond just the attack, she was horrified by the vulgar circumstances under which she was attacked and propositioned to have an affair. She was there in a professional capacity, writing an article about their happy marriage, and after the incident Trump acted like nothing happened.
. . . .
Stoynoff’s former journalism professor, Paul McLaughlin, says that the writer called him in tears looking for advice the very night of the harrowing encounter. However, he cautioned her to remain quiet in fear of how Trump may retaliate.
“She wasn’t sure what she should do,” McLaughlin recalls. “I advised her not to say anything, because I believed Trump would deny it and try to destroy her.”
“It was tough decision but in a he said/she said we believed she would lose,” the professor said in a tweet regarding the incident. “He seemed rather nasty at the time.”
And it goes on and on. Liz McNeil remembers Stoynoff saying Trump had “shoved her against a wall.” Mary Green relates that Stoynoff told her: “He took me to this other room, and when we stepped inside, he pushed me against a wall and stuck his tongue down my throat. Melania was upstairs and could have walked in at any time.”
There’s even a witness who disputes Melania Trump’s claim that she didn’t run into Stoynoff on Fifth Avenue afterwards.
It is true that none of these people witnessed the attack. So what? Unless these six people are all completely fabricating the same story, why would Natasha Stoynoff tell them about this 11 years ago, and remain silent about it until Trump ran for President? Not to sue him; the statute of limitations has surely run on a civil suit. Not to derail a presidential bid; nobody is saying Stoynoff had a crystal ball that could see 11 years into the future. No, the conclusion is clear: Trump is lying, and lying big. (Stoynoff says in the story that maybe Trump has assaulted so many women in this way that he just forgot this one. That strikes me as overly generous on her part, to a fault.)
Why does this matter? Because if Trump is lying, it’s relevant. And Trump is lying all the time. It’s particularly egregious now, because he is lying and smearing the women who are telling the truth.
When Bill Clinton did this, most Republicans attacked him for it. Some were doing so because they were partisan hacks — and those people are the scum defending Trump today. Some did so out of principle, and they condemn Trump today like they condemned Clinton.
Trump has killed the GOP’s chances of taking the White House this year. Don’t let him kill your intellectual honesty too.