23:14 GMT +319 November 2018
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    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump signs autographs for supporters at the conclusion of a Donald Trump rally at Millington Regional Jetport on February 27, 2016 in Millington, Tennessee

    Trump Attacks Mexican Billionaire, NYT as New Sexual Assault Accusations Emerge

    © AFP 2018 / Michael B. Thomas
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    As allegations against Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump continue to surface, the billionaire is doubling down on his new campaign tactic: painting himself as the victim of an international conspiracy.

    With less than one month to go before the vote, the Trump campaign continues to face new controversies every day.

    During an October 13 rally, the presidential hopeful unveiled a new attack on Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. He claimed that she held "secret" meetings "with international banks to plot the destruction of US sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special friends and donors."

    The next day, he expanded this global conspiracy to include Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, a shareholder in the New York Times. The publication reported earlier this week on two separate alleged instances of sexual assault committed by Trump.

    "The largest shareholder in the Times is Carlos Slim. Now Carlos Slim, as you know, comes from Mexico. He’s given many millions of dollars to the Clintons and their initiatives. So Carlos Slim, largest owner of the paper, from Mexico," he said during a speech in Greensboro, North Carolina.

    "Reporters at the New York Times, they’re not journalists, they’re corporate lobbyists for Carlos Slim and for Hillary Clinton," he continued.

    Trump went on to vilify his accusers; meanwhile, new allegations surfaced.

    The Washington Post conducted an interview with 46-year-old Kristin Anderson, who claims that Trump reached under her skirt while she was working as a model in the early 1990s. In addition, former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos claimed that Trump kissed her inappropriately and groped her on two separate occasions in 2007.

    Trump denied Zervos' claims, saying "this is not who I am as a person, and it is not how I've conducted my life."

    The incidents seem to match comments Trump made on a 2005 Access Hollywood tape released October 7. In it, the candidate can be heard boasting about getting away with sexual assault because of his fame.

    During his speech on Friday, Trump dismissed his accusers as liars and criticized their physical appearances. He also denied having ever met Jessica Leeds, who claims she was groped by the candidate on an airplane in the 1980s.

    Earlier, the Trump campaign promised to release new evidence that would prove the embattled candidate’s innocence. On Friday evening, that evidence came in the form of an eyewitness who says he sat across the aisle from Trump and Leeds during the flight Leeds spoke of.

    Anthony Gilberthorpe, 54, claims he witnessed Leeds being flirtatious with Trump aboard the plane, and that he never witnessed any untoward behavior on the candidate’s part. As has been pointed out, however, Gilberthorpe has his own sordid history, claiming in 2014 that he used to procure underage boys for British politicians.

    Gilberthorpe’s testimony also contradicts Trump’s own claim that he never met Leeds.

    On top of these sexual assault allegations, multiple sources suggest that the Republican nominee repeatedly demeaned a deaf contestant while filming Celebrity Apprentice. Marlee Matlin, the first deaf actress to win an Oscar, participated in the 11th season of the reality television competition, and was allegedly described as "retarded" by Trump.

    Matlin responded to these reports on Friday evening.

    With so much trouble brewing, some controversies are bound to slip through the cracks. In this case, it was the October 13 report by the New York Daily News saying that information obtained from the New York City Comptroller’s Office via a Freedom of Information Act request revealed no evidence Trump ever donated $10,000 to 9/11 charities, as he pledged to do in the wake of the 2001 attacks and has claimed to have done multiple times.

    "For the periods covered by the audits, we did not find any record of a donation from Trump himself or a Trump entity to either the Twin Towers Fund or the New York City Public/Private Initiatives Inc.," said City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office, according to the Hill. The audits covered 12 months after the attacks for the former charity, nine months after the attacks for the latter.

    The statement did add, however, that officials were "unable to conclude definitively that Trump never gave to either of these two funds," so maybe the Trump campaign can find a way to chalk this up as a win.

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    Tags:
    2016 election, GOP, Jessica Leeds, Carlos Slim, Donald Trump, United States
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