On Tuesday morning, President Trump angrily targeted one of the women who accused him of kissing her without her consent 12 years ago.
The tweets were in response to a Washington Post story about Rachel Crooks, one of the 19 women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct. (The president denies all the claims.) Crooks alleges that when she was a 22-year-old receptionist in 2006, Trump kissed her without her consent.
The tweets were uncharacteristic for the president, who has rarely addressed the sexual misconduct allegations on his favorite social media platform. (He has also refrained from commenting on the recent allegations that he has had extramarital affairs with at least two women in the mid 2000s.)
Trump wrote: "A woman I don’t know and, to the best of my knowledge, never met, is on the FRONT PAGE of the Fake News Washington Post saying I kissed her (for two minutes yet) in the lobby of Trump Tower 12 years ago. Never happened! Who would do this in a public space with live security cameras running. Another False Accusation. Why doesn’t @washingtonpost report the story of the women taking money to make up stories about me? One had her home mortgage paid off. Only @FoxNews so reported...doesn’t fit the Mainstream Media narrative."
Crooks alleges that she introduced herself to Trump on Jan. 11, 2006 and while talking he kissed her on both cheeks, finally landing on her mouth for a long kiss to which she didn't consent to. She claims the incident happened at an investment firm in Trump Tower called Bayrock, not at the lobby. She told the Washington Post that she has asked Trump to release the security camera footage of that day, but her requests have gone unanswered.
According to the Post, Crooks sent several emails to relatives the day the kiss allegedly took place and in the days after. "Hey Ma, my day started off rough…had a weird incident with Mr. Trump," she emailed her mom that afternoon.
Her story is consistent with the behavior described by Trump himself in the infamous 2005 Access Hollywood tape: "You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful women. I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything."
Claims that the women who accused Trump of sexual misconduct have received money in exchange for making the allegations remain unproven, though The Hill reported in December that attorney Lisa Bloom arranged a GoFundMe for one of the accusers, Jill Harth, that raised a little over $2,000, and facilitated a donation that paid off the mortgage of her Queens apartment.
The official White House position is that all of President Trump's accusers are lying. And even though Trump threatened to sue all the women during the 2016 presidential election, he has yet to do so. The president is also facing a defamation lawsuit brought up by one of his accusers, Summer Zervos. Zervos, a former The Apprentice contestant who claims Trump groped and kissed her without her consent in 2007, is the only one of the women who have accused the president to bring legal action.
Refinery29 reached out to Rachel Crooks for comment. We will update this story if we hear back.