The man who could be the country’s top elected official on Friday chalked the sexual assault allegations against him up to a vast conspiracy orchestrated by a Mexican billionaire and repeatedly insulted the women’s appearances as evidence of their trustworthiness.
“The largest shareholder at the New York Times is Carlos Slim. As you know, he comes from Mexico,” Donald Trump said, launching into an attack on the New York Times for recently publishing allegations from multiple women. Slim actually owns about a one-fifth share in the Times’ parent company.
Trump called reporters for the paper “corporate lobbyists for Carlos Slim and Hillary Clinton” and went out of his way to smear Slim as a “foreign CEO” trying to steal the U.S. election by pushing “lies and smears” less than a month before the election.
The Republican presidential nominee also continued his campaign to discredit the women who have come forward, citing their physical appearances as reason enough why he couldn’t possibly have assaulted him.
“I have no idea who these women are. And I think you all know I have no idea, because you’ve understood me for a lot of years,” he told the crowd. “When you looked at that horrible woman last night, you said, ‘I don’t think so.'”
Speaking about the People magazine writer that has accused him of forcing himself on her during an interview, Trump urged the crowd of his supporters to look the woman up on social media to appraise her trustworthiness for themselves.
“She is a liar. She is a liar. Check out her Facebook page, you’ll understand,” the billionaire boomed.
He finally got around to Jessica Leeds, the woman who accused Trump of groping her on a first class flight to New York City more than three decades ago, noting that after catching a glimpse of her, “she would not be my first choice, I can tell you.”
Did Trump mean that, if Leeds was more attractive to him, he would have assaulted her? He didn’t say.
“These people are sick,” Trump concluded.
The optics of the afternoon were particularly striking. At the same time Trump was vehemently denying the allegations leveled against him, mega-attorney Gloria Allred was holding a press conference with a new accuser, former “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos, who alleged that Trump sexually assaulted her after her stint on the show.