Donald Trump Claims He 'Never Met' Accusers Like PEOPLE's Natasha Stoynoff, But We Have the Photo
Donald Trump denies meeting his accusers, but PEOPLE has the photo proving he met Natasha Stoynoff
President Donald Trump has claimed he doesn’t know — and has never met — the multiple women who have accused him of sexual misconduct or assault. But PEOPLE has the photo showing the magazine’s former correspondent Natasha Stoynoff with Trump at Mar-a-Lago on the same day that Stoynoff says he pushed her against the wall and forced a kiss on her mouth.
“Despite thousands of hours wasted and many millions of dollars spent, the Democrats have been unable to show any collusion with Russia – so now they are moving on to the false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don’t know and/or have never met,” Trump wrote in a December tweet. “FAKE NEWS!”
Trump’s tweet came after four women who accused him of sexual misconduct made several fresh press appearances urging that Trump be subjected to the same zero-tolerance rejection of sexual misconduct that has recently seen dozens of high-profile men — from Harvey Weinstein to Matt Lauer to Mario Batali — toppled from their perches of power. The women who have come forward against Trump — Samantha Holvey, Rachel Crooks, Jessica Leeds and Melinda “Mindy” McGillivray along with a growing number of members of Congress — have demanded a congressional ethics investigation into the dozen-plus sexual misconduct allegations against Trump.
Stoynoff was at Mar-a-Lago in late 2005 for a joint interview and photo shoot with Trump and his wife Melania, as shown in a photo the Trumps took with the full PEOPLE crew that day. It wasn’t until October 2016, after Trump hotly denied any sexual misconduct with any woman, that Stoynoff revealed publicly for the first time how Trump attacked her in 2005: “Donald wanted to show me around the mansion. There was one ‘tremendous’ room in particular, he said, that I just had to see. We walked into that room alone, and Trump shut the door behind us. I turned around, and within seconds he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat.”
In the throes of the #MeToo movement, Stoynoff asked: “Is the President of the United States held to a different standard than, say, Louis C.K.? Or will Trump too face a day of reckoning?”
Trump refuted Stoynoff’s accusations with an attack on both her integrity and her appearance. “She lies! Look at her, I don’t think so,” he said on the campaign trail last year. Six people in whom Stoynoff confided in 2005, including several of her People colleagues and her former journalism professor, corroborated Stoynoff’s story.
PEOPLE Writer Natasha Stoynoff, Who Accused Donald Trump Of Sexual Harassment, Opens Up On Matt Lauer Accusations
“Natasha was … struggling about not hurting pregnant Melania if the story came out,” friend Marina Grasic said. Stoynoff called her the day after the attack. “Beyond just the attack, she was horrified by the vulgar circumstances under which she was attacked and propositioned to have an affair. She was there in a professional capacity, writing an article about their happy marriage, and after the incident Trump acted like nothing happened.”
Stoynoff says that this year’s wave of women speaking out about their experiences with sexual harassment, abuse and assault is good for the country.
“Each person who raises her voice against sexual misconduct today helps lead to its extinction tomorrow,” she added, “So that one day, the phenomenon of men imposing themselves sexually will be just a bad memory for us and shameful history to our grandchildren.”