Lawyers for President Donald Trump say that a newly released video proves that the president did not kiss former Trump campaign staffer Alva Johnson against her will, as a lawsuit by Johnson alleges.
What’s the background?
Johnson worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign. In February, she filed a lawsuit claiming that Trump tried to kiss her on the mouth but she had quickly turned her head. She called it “super creepy and inappropriate” and said that she “immediately felt violated because I wasn’t expecting it or wanting it.”
Johnson’s attorney, Hassan Zavareei, told the Daily Beast that Johnson “feels partly responsible for helping put a sexual predator into the White House, and she believes she has an obligation to tell her story and to hold him accountable for what he’s done to her but to so many other women.”
What happened now?
In the 15-second video, which was posted on Dropbox by Trump’s lawyers, Trump can be seen approaching Johnson in a crowd of other volunteers in what appears to be an RV. Johnson appears to lean in and turn her head slightly as Trump kisses her on the cheek. He then grabs her shoulders briefly and thanks her.
“I’ve left my family for eight months for you,” she can be heard saying both before and after the kiss.
“We’re going to get you into the White House. I’ll see you in February,” Trump replied.
The president’s lawyers also posted a 32-second-long slowed down clip, to make it clearer how the interaction took place.
Johnson’s own lawyers seem unfazed by this development. “We are gratified and pleased that we finally have proof what Ms. Johnson has been alleging in this lawsuit,” Zavareei said, according to Politico. Zavareei said that with the exception of Trump grabbing Johson’s shoulders instead of “holding her by the hands,” the interaction was “basically identical to what she alleged.”
Trump kissing campaign aide after Florida rally