by Compiled from Wire Services
Oct 15, 2016 12:00 am
The New York Times refused to retract the Trump story over sexual assault claims, after the U.S. Republican presidential candidate threatened to sue the newspaper
After the U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump accused the New York Times of libel and threatened to sue newspaper, the tension between the newspaper and the Republican candidate has intensified. The Times said they will not retract, nor apologize for an article in which two women accused Donald Trump of sexual assault.
Shortly after the piece appeared online, Trump's lawyers accused the paper of libel and demanded a retraction. "Your article is reckless, defamatory and constitutes libel per se," the candidate's lawyer Marc Kasowitz wrote in a letter to the Times, calling it "a politically motivated effort to defeat Mr. Trump's candidacy."
In a response to Trump's lawyers, "We published newsworthy information about a subject of deep public concern," wrote David McCraw, the paper's assistant general counsel. "If Mr. Trump disagrees, if he believes that American citizens had no right to hear what these women had to say and that the law of this country forces us and those who would criticize him to stand silent or be punished, we welcome the opportunity to have a court set him straight."
The allegations against Trump, which date from between 10 and 30 years ago, suggest a pattern of sexually inappropriate behavior towards women. Jessica Leeds, a 74-year-old former businesswoman, told the New York Times that Trump groped her on a flight in the early 1980s as they sat next to each other in first class. A second accuser, Rachel Crooks said she was a 22-year-old receptionist at a real estate company at Trump Towers in 2005 when she encountered Trump outside an elevator one morning.
People Magazine also published an account Wednesday by a former staff writer who said Trump forced himself on her when she interviewed him at his Mar-a-Lago estate in 2005. Trump denied the claim on Friday, telling his supporters at a Florida rally to "look at her" – suggesting she was not attractive enough to have been assaulted by him.
The incendiary reports come with just 26 days left in a presidential race that has descended to unprecedented levels of vulgarity and six days before the final Clinton-Trump debate, in Las Vegas.
With Clinton leading in national polls, the 70-year-old billionaire is desperate to set his campaign back on track after a video recording from 2005 surfaced last week in which he boasted of grabbing women by the crotch. "When you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything," he said. Trump has apologized for the comments, but also sought to minimize them as "locker room talk."
Some of the Republican Party's biggest financial donors urged its national committee on Thursday to drop Donald Trump in the wake of accusations he sexually assaulted women, The New York Times reported. In a further sign the Republican presidential candidate's free-falling campaign is sowing deep divisions within a party in crisis, the paper quoted some of those who have given millions of dollars to Republicans as saying the scandal surrounding the real estate billionaire threatens the party with lasting damage unless it repudiates him. The party's rift deepened on Monday, when House Speaker Paul Ryan -- the party's top elected official -- told hundreds of fellow House Republicans that he would no longer "defend" Trump. Ryan said he would instead spend the remainder of the campaign focusing on protecting the Republican congressional majorities ahead of the November 8 election.
Trump had repeatedly threatened to damage his Democratic rival by reviving allegations of sexual misconduct against her husband. He made good on that promise by appearing with three of Bill Clinton's women accusers ahead of Sunday's debate, and alleging on stage before tens of millions of viewers that the former president was "abusive."
After sexual assault allegations, Trump has fallen further behind Hillary Clinton and trails her by 8 points among likely voters, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday as he began to lose support from Republicans. 1 in 5 Republicans said his vulgar comments about groping women would disqualify him from the presidency.
Majority of U.S. Muslims plan to turn away from Trump
Seventy-two percent of American Muslim voters say they will vote for the Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton in the upcoming presidential elections, according to a survey released Thursday. With less than a month before the Nov. 8 poll, the survey by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) provides a snapshot of the Muslim community's views about the elections.
Another highlight from the survey is that 62 percent said the Republican Party is unfriendly to Muslims. That's up from the 51 percent in 2012 who felt the same. Days after a deadly terror attack in California, Trump stirred up controversy when he called for a complete ban on Muslims entering the U.S. Topping the list of most important concerns to American Muslim voters was civil rights, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).