Lawyers representing Donald Trump have called on The New York Times to retract a damning report published Wednesday in which two women claimed that the Republican candidate had touched them inappropriately.
Lawyer Marc E. Kasowitz has sent a letter to the Times saying the article is “reckless, defamatory and constitutes libel.”
Although it is not a lawsuit, Kasowitz writes that a failure to retract the story and apologize “will leave my client with no option but to pursue all available actions and remedies.”
Trump also denied the claims in the story on Twitter Thursday morning, writing, “The phoney story in the failing @nytimes is a TOTAL FABRICATION. Written by same people as last discredited story on woman. WATCH!”
“It is absurd to think that one of the most recognizable business leaders on the planet with a strong record of empowering women in his companies would do the things alleged in this story, and for this to only become public decades later in the final month of a campaign for president should say it all,” said Jason Miller, a Trump spokesman, in a separate statement.
In the Times story, 74-year-old Jessica Leeds alleged that Trump groped her on a flight more than 30 years ago. Leeds says Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt.
“He was like an octopus,” Leeds said. “His hands were everywhere … It was an assault.”
Rachel Crooks also spoke out in the story, telling the paper that the business mogul “kissed me directly on the mouth” after she introduced herself to him outside a Trump Tower elevator in 2005 when she was 22 years old.
On Wednesday evening, former PEOPLE writer Natasha Stoynoff went public with her own story, recounting Trump’s unwanted sexual advances toward her at Mar-A-Lago while she was on assignment in December 2005.
A spokeswoman for Trump denied the story Wednesday, and Trump himself addressed Stoynoff’s account Thursday morning, tweeting that it “did not happen.”