GREENSBORO, N.C. — Confronted by two new allegations of sexual harassment on Friday, Republican Donald Trump fought back against the growing list of assault accusations by insulting the looks of his accusers, casting the women as opportunists and deriding the media outlets that have shared their stories.
“Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you,” Trump said of one of the six women who have come forward since Wednesday night with claims of sexual misconduct.
Trump emphatically denied the accusations in his remarks to supporters at the White Oak Amphitheatre, a 2,000-seat open air venue, saying he had never met some of the accusers.
On Friday, as Trump rallied for support in the battleground state, Summer Zervos, 41, a former contestant on Trump’s former reality TV show, “The Apprentice,” and Kristin Anderson, 46, a former aspiring model, came forward with claims that Trump accosted them.
Their claims, come after four other women accused Trump of unwarranted sexual advances, in accounts published by the New York Times, People Magazine, and the Palm Beach Post on Wednesday.
The women have all said they decided to share their stories, after the second presidential debate, when Trump denied he treated women in the sexually aggressive manner he was heard talking about in a 2005 video that surfaced a week ago.
Trump questioned the timing of the accusations — with less than a month left until Election Day — saying some of the women “are doing it probably for a little bit of fame.”
He denied ever meeting Anderson, who accused him of slipping his hands up her skirt at a Manhattan night club in the early 1990s, when she was an aspiring model.
Later, the New York Post reported that Trump campaign put forth a British man, Anthony Gilberthorpe, as a witness to refute the claims made by Jessica Leeds in the New York Times. Leeds claims that she was sexually assaulted on a flight in the early 1980s by Trump.
But in a statement provided to the Post, Gilberthorpe, 54, said he was sitting across the first-class aisle from them and saw nothing inappropriate.
Trump looked to cast doubt on the media organizations that first shared the allegations. He accused New York Times reporters of working on behalf of the paper’s billionaire shareholder Carlos Slim, a Mexican businessman who is ranked one of the wealthiest men in this world.
“Carlos Slim, as you know, comes from Mexico,” Trump told the crowd. “Reporters at The New York Times are not journalists; they’re corporate lobbyists for Carlos Slim and Hillary Clinton.”
Slim’s spokesman Arturo Elias Ayub told the Associated Press the businessman doesn’t know Trump “and is not the least bit interested in his personal life.”
Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon on Friday said: “This is a deranged conspiracy theory from an increasingly desperate campaign.”
Trump’s trip to Greensboro came a day after President Barack Obama stumped in the city for Democrat Hillary Clinton, telling an audience Trump “says stuff nobody would find tolerable if they were applying for a job at 7-Eleven.”
The GOP nominee called Obama “incompetent” at the rally, where at least five protesters were escorted out by security. One Trump supporter was removed, after he ran up from behind one of the protesters, and started punching the man’s face.
Trump, who trails Clinton by an average of 3 points in state polls, according to the poll tracking website Real Clear Politics, also headlined a rally in Charlotte, where he continued to rip Clinton, the media and Republican leaders who have distanced themselves from his campaign.
“The political establishment is trying to stop us because they know we are going to stop the corruption in government,” Trump told the crowd at the Charlotte Convention Center.