Donald Trump’s campaign was drafting a defamation lawsuit against the New York Times late Wednesday night, hours after the news organization published a story in which two women accused the Republican presidential nominee of sexual assault, sources confirmed to the Washington Examiner.
From Washington Examiner
Within hours of threatening to take legal action against the major publication for launching a “completely false, coordinated character assassination against” him, Trump had requested that his attorneys draft a major lawsuit against the Times.
“This is war,” said one campaign insider with knowledge of the situation. The same source accused the Times and other mainstream media outlets of “working hand in hand” with Hillary Clinton’s campaign to sabotage Trump in the final month before the election.
“We’re coming at them strong and everybody better have a good lawyer,” the source said.
Late Wednesday, Trump’s lawyer wrote to the Times and demanded a retraction.
“We hereby demand that you immediately cease any further publication of this article, remove it from your website and issue a full and immediate retraction and apology,” Marc Kasowitz wrote in his letter (reprinted in full below). “Failure to do so will leave my client with no option but to pursue all available actions and remedies.”
Trump and senior aides on his campaign have forcefully denied that there is any truth to allegations published by the Times on Wednesday evening. The two women featured in the report, Jessica Leeds and Rachel Cook, claimed that Trump made unwanted sexual advances on them on separate occasions.
They were both watching Sunday’s presidential debate when the GOP nominee told CNN’s Anderson Cooper he had never touched a woman sexually without her consent.
“He was like an octopus. His hands were everywhere,” said Leeds, who claimed that Trump grabber her breasts and attempted to reach up her skirt when they were seated next to each other on a first-class flight to New York three decades ago.
“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,” Trump’s senior communications adviser, Jason Miller, said in a statement shortly after the Times published its report.
“Further, the Times story buries the pro-Clinton financial and social media activity on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, reinforcing that this truly is nothing more than a political attack,” he added. “This is a sad day for the Times.”
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