Women's rights groups pledged their support on Monday for Alva Johnson, a former staffer on President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign who has alleged that the president sexually assaulted her on the campaign trail weeks before he won the election.
According to the Washington Post, Johnson is alleging in a new lawsuit against Trump that he kissed her without her consent at a campaign event in Florida on August 24, 2016.
"I immediately felt violated because I wasn't expecting it or wanting it," Johnson said, calling Trump's actions "super creepy and inappropriate."
"Johnson's story should serve as a reminder to all Americans that Donald Trump is a self-confessed sexual predator—who will never stop abusing women," said Emma Boorboor, deputy director of organizing for UltraViolet, noting that "she joins more than twenty other women who have had the courage to share their stories of sexual abuse by Donald Trump with the American people."
"We cannot truly tackle the epidemic of sexual violence in this country until we hold Donald Trump and his enablers accountable. We urge Congress to investigate these latest accusations against Trump," Boorboor added.
"Johnson's story should serve as a reminder to all Americans that Donald Trump is a self-confessed sexual predator—who will never stop abusing women." —Emma Boorboor, UltraVioletJohnson, who worked for several months as the director of outreach and coalitions for the campaign in Alabama and then Florida, told the Post that Trump grabbed her hand and leaned in to kiss her at a rally in Tampa just after he exited a campaign bus. She turned her head and the then-candidate's kiss landed on the side of her mouth, and Johnson was left shaken.
Johnson said Florida campaign director Karen Giorno and then-Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi were present during the incident, but both women deny the assault took place.
However, Johnson's account was corroborated by her boyfriend, mother, and stepfather, who all told the Post that she informed them of the incident later the same day. Her therapist also wrote in notes about sessions with Johnson that she was distraught over an event on the campaign trail.
"She is having nightmares because of what happened," the therapist wrote on October 27, 2016.
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Although Johnson's description of the incident bears a striking resemblance to the accounts of 22 other women—and the president's own boasting of sexually assaulting women, which came to light weeks after Johnson's alleged assault when audio recording of him was released—White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called her allegation "absurd on its face."
The Women's March and UltraViolet vowed to fight the denials of Trump and his allies.
Trump has a history of (a) abusing women, (b) viciously going after those who dare speak out, as a warning to other potential accusers to stay silent.
He now has the power of the White House behind him. We will not let him use it to attack Alva Johnson.https://t.co/XtHLVzEZ2h
— Women's March (@womensmarch) February 25, 2019
Former campaign staffer Alva Johnson says Trump kissed her without her consent.
— UltraViolet (@UltraViolet) February 25, 2019
Johnson's alleged assault took place about six weeks before the release of an audio recording of Trump bragging about grabbing, touching, and kissing women without their consent.
Johnson told the Post she was shocked when she heard the candidate she had been working to help elect talking about the behavior he had subjected her to.
"I felt sick to my stomach," she told the Post. "That was what he did to me."