President Donald Trump kissed one of his 2016 campaign staffers partially on the mouth without her consent, the staffer told the Washington Post in a report published Monday.
“I immediately felt violated because I wasn’t expecting it or wanting it,” Alva Johnson, 43, told the Post. “I can still see his lips coming straight for my face.” She also called the kiss “super creepy” and “inappropriate.”
Johnson, who worked as the Trump campaign’s director of outreach in Alabama, filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages over the incident, which she said occurred on Aug. 24, 2016, outside a rally in Tampa, Florida. Video taken by Johnson and provided to the Post shows Trump walking up to an RV outside the rally. As Trump exited the RV, Johnson said he leaned in to kiss her, but she turned her head away, his lips instead landing on the side of her mouth.
The Post interviewed two people whom Johnson identified as witnesses to the alleged kissing incident, but both denied that they saw it happen. Johnson, however, also said she told her boyfriend, mother, and stepfather what happened the next day, which all three confirmed to the Post.
The White House and the Trump campaign have both denied Johnson’s allegations.
“This never happened and is directly contradicted by multiple highly credible eyewitness accounts,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement to the Post. A campaign spokeswoman, Kayleigh McEnany, called the accusations “unfounded.”
At least 16 women have publicly accused Trump of sexual misconduct, but Johnson is the first woman to allege sexual harassment by Trump after he had become a presidential candidate. Summer Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice,” also filed a lawsuit that accuses Trump of defamation when he called her a liar after she said the president groped her and kissed her without consent in 2007.
Johnson’s lawsuit also alleges that Trump’s campaign discriminated against her as a black worker by underpaying her in comparison to her white colleagues.
Read Johnson's complaint below:
Cover image: President Donald Trump during a campaign rally at the El Paso County Coliseum, Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)