3 women who accused Trump of sexual misconduct demand congressional inquiry

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Rachel Crooks, left, Jessica Leeds, center, and Samantha Holvey attend a news conference, Monday, Dec. 11, 2017, in NY to discuss their accusations of sexual misconduct against Donald Trump.

One day after a panel of women convened to discuss their already-public accusations of sexual harassment and assault against him, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to refute the allegations. The statement dismissed the allegations as part of a "publicity tour" and said they were driven by "political motives". Now, after endorsing Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, who is also accused of multiple counts of sexual assault and impropriety, the president is once again being pressed to account for behavior that would have forced most other politicians to resign. Politico reports that, in private, the president has complained that the wave of women speaking out has become a problem, and has questioned the veracity of the claims against Moore, who denies all criminal wrongdoing.

"The environment's different", said Holvey, who claims Trump came backstage when she and other contestants were dressing at the 2006 Miss USA pageant.

Just hours later, at a press conference at the Lexington Hotel in New York, Holvey said that lawmakers should extend the same scrutiny to Trump they did to Al Franken, the Minnesota senator who faced an ethics investigation before he resigned his seat over claims of unwanted kissing and groping.

While the Russian Federation investigation has clouded his administration for months, the charges of sexual misconduct have recently gained new prominence as a wave of similar allegations have led to resignations and firings of powerful men in Congress, Hollywood and the media.

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Crooks called the statement "laughable" and challenged Trump to release a security tape of her encounter with him in Trump Tower in Manhattan in 2005, during which she claims that Trump kissed her on the lips without her consent.

Gillibrand said that if Trump refused to "immediately" resign, Congress should investigate and "hold him accountable".

"Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for [fellow New York Democratic Senator] Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office "begging" for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump". "They are numerous. I've heard these women's testimony, and many of them are heartbreaking". "It left me feeling like very gross, very dirty". "But, you know, women should always feel comfortable coming forward and we should all be willing to listen to them". "Just looking me over like I was a piece of meat".

Many of Trump's accusers, contrary to the statement, were not publicly contradicted by eyewitnesses.