Former Trump Campaign Staffer Claims He Forcibly Kissed Her. Then Trump’s Lawyer Releases The Video.
As the legendary sports commentator Warner Wolf used to say, “Let’s go to the videotape.”
Alva Johnson, a former campaign staffer when Donald Trump was running for president in 2016, claims that she was the victim of an unwanted and forcible kiss from Trump before a rally in Tampa.
“Johnson says Trump ‘moved close enough that she could feel his breath on her skin’ when she ‘suddenly realized … Trump was trying to kiss her on the mouth,’ ” according to previous court filings, Business Insider reported. “Johnson said that she ‘attempted to avoid this by turning her head to the right’ and that ‘Trump kissed her anyways … on the corner of her mouth.'” She filed a lawsuit in February, but a judge threw it out last month.
In the short video, Johnson tells Trump, “I’ve left my family for eight months for you.” Trump clasps her shoulders and then appears to give her a Hollywood air kiss near her cheek.”Thank you,” he says. Then, as he moves down the line, Johnson says, “We’re gonna get you into the White House. I’ll sleep in February.”
Watch for yourself.
UPDATE: YouTube version added here during Twitter outage.
This staffer said Trump grabbed her by the shoulders and forcibly kissed her at a campaign event. She is now suing Trump for "violating norms of decency."
Someone else captured this video, just released tonight.
The instance seems to have been greatly mischaracterized. pic.twitter.com/qAxJjPyrnN
— Boomieleaks (@notwokieleaks) July 11, 2019
Lawyers for Trump also released these videos — one slowed down so you can see that it appears Trump doesn’t even make contact with his lips.
Trump lawyer Charles Harder said the video shows Johnson’s suit is “unmeritorious and frivolous.”
“The Video shows that Plaintiff’s allegations in the Complaint that Mr. Trump ‘forcibly’ kissed her, and kissed her ‘on the mouth,’ are entirely false,” Harder wrote in a court filing. “In watching the Video, the only conclusion a reasonable person could reach is that the exchange was an innocent moment between a dedicated campaign staffer and the candidate for whom she was working.”
Harder said the clip is “undeniable evidence that [Johnson’s] battery claim is unfounded and frivolous by virtue.”
“The only conclusion a reasonable person could reach is that the exchange was an innocent moment between a dedicated campaign staffer and the candidate for whom she was working,” Harder said, adding that the video “proves that Plaintiff has no legitimate claim for battery. It also proves that Plaintiff and her counsel have lied repeatedly to this Court.”
Harder also notes that Johnson kisses “the air next to his face.”
Johnson’s lawyer, meanwhile, said the video proves their case.
“We are gratified and pleased that we finally have proof what Ms. Johnson has been alleging in this lawsuit,” said Hassan Zavareei, an attorney for Johnson. “It is basically exactly what Ms. Johnson has been saying.”
“She said Trump was holding her by the hands. In fact, he grabbed her by the shoulders. … Other than that, it’s basically identical to what she alleged,” Zavareei said, according to Politico.
“I don’t regard it as innocuous. … Does it look dramatic? No. That does not mean it wasn’t a serious battery. It’s a battery because she didn’t want it to happen. It’s not an appropriate thing to do to another person,” he said.
Johnson was previously registered as a Democrat, according to The Washington Post, and she told the paper she voted twice for Barack Obama before supporting Trump’s campaign.