Donald Trump Supporters Resort To Armrest Mechanics In The Most Ridiculous Effort Yet To Defend Him
In a statement to The New York Times, businesswoman Jessica Leeds alleged that Donald Trump assaulted her on a plane in the 1980s after lifting the armrest between them. Trump vehemently denied the claims from the Times article, telling the reporter, “None of this ever took place." As more Republican politicians and voters begin to distance themselves from the nominee, others have chosen to remain loyal. And their "evidence" that the allegations are false is definitely up for debate. In defense of Trump, some supporters are claiming first class armrests couldn't move back then.
Leeds, who is now 74, told the Times that more than 30 years ago she was upgraded to first class from coach and allegedly found herself seated next to Trump. She claimed that Trump lifted the armrest and groped her, allegedly even reaching up her skirt. At this point, Leeds alleged that she fled back to her old seat in coach. Trump denied the account and said he would sue the newspaper if they published such reports, the Times reported.
Trump campaign national spokesperson Katrina Pierson was one of the first afterward to deny Leeds' story. "I do not believe it at all," Pierson said on CNN. "It is 100 percent patently false and, as I was saying, this is the exact same New York Times that tried the same stunt back in March and then those women came forward and debunked that article."
It's unclear what article Pierson is referring to, but she had another argument prepared. Pierson put forth an aviation-based defense as to why she claims Trump couldn't have allegedly groped Leeds. After listing several types of airplanes that flew in the 1980s, and eliminating aircrafts she claimed did not fly into New York City, Pierson said, "First-class seats have fixed armrests."
Pierson's defense caused members of the CNN panel she was addressing to burst into laughter. When other panelists pointed out that some planes did in fact have movable armrests, Pierson was adamant that her defense was factually accurate.
However, aviation experts have come forth to debunk Pierson's claims. "So far, I’ve found photos of armrests stowing on 70s-80s vintage Braniff, National and TWA first class cabins," tweeted Jon Ostrower, a CNN aviation editor.
“I don’t fully understand where she got that information, but that is simply incorrect,” said Phil Derner Jr., founder of NYCAviation, a website for airplane enthusiasts, Yahoo reported. Derner Jr. was referring to Pierson’s claims that some aircrafts did not fly into New York City airports.
When CNN’s Don Lemon asked Pierson why these women have come forth now, she responded, “Fifteen minutes of fame."
“Katrina, do you think that that’s fair? Because people will say the same thing about you,” Lemon fired back. “That you’re supporting Donald Trump for 15 minutes of fame.” Ouch.
Lemon and Pierson's exchange aside, the issue of whether the armrests were movable could actually be important if Leeds chooses to bring her allegations against Trump to a court of law, civil rights and employment discrimination attorneys Robert J. Valli Jr. and James A. Vagnini told Yahoo. However, Pierson's aviation defense of Trump is definitely not iron-clad considering some of the airplanes she listed did actually have movable armrests.