Donald Trump may be many things — a businessman, a presidential candidate, a taco bowl fanatic — but he is not a "groper," says his daughter, Ivanka. Speaking Wednesday on "CBS This Morning," the elder Trump daughter joined the campaign in denying a weekend New York Times story that cast him as a misogynist and sexual aggressor and included an anecdote from a woman who claimed Trump inappropriately touched her.
"I'm not in every interaction my father has, but he's not a groper. It's not who he is," Ivanka Trump said. "And I've known my father, obviously, my whole life and he has total respect for women."
Ivanka Trump was referencing the Times' Sunday piece "Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved With Women in Private," which was based on more than 50 interviews with women who had dealings with the tycoon over the years. It featured quotes from a deposition given by former pageant promoter Jill Harth in connection with a lawsuit over business issues with Trump. Harth said he pursued her in the 1990s — even in the company of her then-boyfriend. He was also married at the time.
The Times wrote:
By the time the three of them were having dinner at the Oak Room of the Plaza Hotel the next night, Mr. Trump’s advances had turned physical, Ms. Harth said in the deposition.
“Basically he name-dropped throughout that dinner, when he wasn’t groping me under the table,” she testified. “Let me just say, this was a very traumatic thing working for him.”
The paper did note that Harth withdrew a lawsuit over Trump's conduct and would not comment for the article. The Trump campaign provided emails to the Times that showed Harth supporting his bid for the White House.
This week, the presidential hopeful himself has called the article false and malicious on Twitter, Politico reported, while another source, Rowane Brewer Lane, has accused the Times of misusing her comments.
Ivanka Trump continued the criticism on CBS Wednesday. "Most of the time, when stories are inaccurate, they're not discredited and I will be frustrated by that. But in this case, I think they went so far," she said. "They had such a strong thesis and created facts to reinforce it and, you know, I think that narrative has been playing out now and there’s backlash in that regard.”
She also said her father promoted involving women in development and construction in the 1980s because he "believes in merit."
As of Wednesday morning, Trump had 1,160 of the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the Republican nomination.