December 8, 2021

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Alva Johnson’s ‘witnesses’ dispute her claim Trump kissed her without consent

4 min read
Alva Johnson's 'witnesses' dispute her claim Trump kissed her without consent

A former staffer on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign claims he kissed her without consent at a small gathering of supporters before a Florida rally.

Johnson is seeking from Trump unspecified damages for emotional pain and suffering. The federal lawsuit her lawyers filed Monday in Florida, also alleges that the Trump campaign discriminated against her because she is black, by paying her less than her white male counterparts. A campaign spokeswoman, Kayleigh McEnany, rejected that claim as “off-base and unfounded.”

43-year-old Alva Johnson, an event planner who lives in Madison County, told The Washington Post, and in the lawsuit, that Donald Trump grabbed her hand and leaned in to kiss her on the lips as he exited an RV outside the rally in Tampa on Aug. 24, 2016. Johnson said she turned her head and the unwanted kiss landed on the side of her mouth, which she called “super-creepy and inappropriate.”

“I immediately felt violated because I wasn’t expecting it or wanting it,” she said. “I can still see his lips coming straight for my face.”

Johnson said she told her boyfriend, mother, and stepfather about the incident later that day. Two months later, Johnson consulted a Florida attorney about the alleged kiss; the attorney gave WAPO text messages showing that he considered her “credible” but did not take her case for business reasons.

The attorney gave Johnson the name of a therapist, whose notes, which The Post reviewed, reference an unspecified event during the campaign that had left her distraught.

Johnson also claims that two Trump supporters witnessed the ‘unwanted kiss’ happen. However, the two Trump supporters that Johnson identified as witnesses — a campaign official and Pam Bondi, then the Florida attorney general — denied seeing the alleged kiss in interviews with The Washington Post.

Pam Bondi and Karen Giorno, director of the Florida campaign, said they do not recall seeing Trump kiss Johnson. They denied reacting the way Johnson described.

“Do I recall seeing anything inappropriate? One hundred percent no,” Bondi said in an interview. “I’m a prosecutor, and if I saw something inappropriate, I would have said something.”

Giorno dismissed the allegation as “ridiculous,” saying “that absolutely did not happen.”

In a statement, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders dismissed Johnson’s allegation as “absurd on its face.”

“This never happened and is directly contradicted by multiple highly credible eye witness accounts,” she wrote.

Sanders told The Washington Post to speak with Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for Melania Trump. Grisham, who was Donald Trump’s press director in 2016, said she did not see the alleged kiss and was in front of Trump as he exited the vehicle.

Johnson registered as a Democrat in California several years ago. She said she voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 but got interested in the Trump campaign through her stepfather, Jacob Savage, a retired microbiology professor who said he has been active in Republican politics for decades

Johnson said she thought Trump might be able to use his business experience to help struggling black communities. 

As recently as May 2017, Johnson spoke glowingly of Trump in a radio interview.

“He is more incredible in person than I think you would even think as you see him on TV,” she told the Alabama-based program “Politics and Moore.” “He’s just the nicest guy . . . He treats everyone as if they are a part of his family.”

She also said she expected to be given a job as the “second-in-command” at the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon. “I will at some point be heading over to Portugal to work in the embassy,” she said.

Washington Post reports that after the election, Alva Johnson attended one of the inaugural balls. She also twice applied for jobs in the administration — the one in Portugal and another with the Energy Department. She said she felt she had earned those opportunities through her work on the campaign. Johnson said that, while she was disappointed, being passed over for those jobs, she says it had no bearing on her decision to sue.

Via: Washington post

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