19 Women In Trump's Life Who Took A Stand Against Him
If there's any single area of President Donald Trump's life that looms largest, both as a private citizen and now as an elected politician, it's his treatment of women. One of the most recurrent themes throughout the 2016 presidential campaign was sexism, whether leveled against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton or demonstrated by Trump himself. But plenty of women refuse to be silenced ― and there are many women in Trump's life who took a stand against him.
Make no mistake, there are myriad reasons a woman might want to take a stand against Trump. There are the right-wing policies he's advanced as president that have hurt women, such as ending the Obamacare birth control mandate. There are the hours of dehumanizing statements about women he made talking with Howard Stern prior to becoming president. There's his (quickly retracted) statement during the presidential campaign that women should be criminally punished for having abortions. There's the the decades-spanning slew of sexual assault allegations that have been made against him (all of which he denies).
Here are some of the women who've stood up to and spoken out against Trump throughout his life as a real estate mogul, a reality TV host, a presidential candidate, and, indeed, as president of the United States.
1. Jill Harth
Harth was one of the first women to publicly and openly accuse Trump of some form of sexual misconduct ― with the exception of his first wife Ivana, who recanted her allegation ― by suing him for harassment in 1997. Harth claims Trump allegedly groped her; Trump called her accusation "meritless."
In 2016, she added her story to the surge of misconduct allegations against Trump, joining more than a dozen other women.
2. Barbara Res
A former Trump Organization construction executive at a time when relatively few women occupied positions of power of influence in the industry, Trump's employment of Res is often pointed to by his supporters as evidence that he supports women in the workplace.
But Res was not a supporter of Trump when his presidential campaign rolled around. To the contrary, she said she believes the sexual assault allegations against him, which the president denies, and referred to him as a "supreme sexist," as The Daily Beast detailed last year.
He hired me for a specific reason: Because I was really good. And he told me, and he believed this, that women had to work harder and be smarter and were willing to work harder than men, and that’s what he wanted, and he had a couple of women working for him… ‘Men are better than women,’ he said, ‘but a good woman is better than 10 men.’ I think he thought I would take it as a compliment, and I think it was intended as a compliment.
3. Summer Zervos
Zervos was a contestant on the fifth season of Trump's reality TV hit The Apprentice. During the presidential campaign, she alleged that Trump kissed and groped her without consent in a Beverly Hills hotel room in 2007. Trump denied this claim, as he did all the allegations against him, and said his accusers were lying.
In response, Zervos is suing him for defamation for denying her claims.
4. Carly Fiorina
Although Fiorina's presidential campaign was unsuccessful, and her previous run for U.S. Senate came up empty, she did have one particularly memorable moment responding to Trump's sexist attack on her looks.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, Trump commented that people wouldn't want to vote for someone with a "face" like hers; she, in turn, called him out during a primary debate, saying "I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said."
5. Sally Yates
The former deputy attorney general briefly became acting attorney general under Trump after his Jan. 20 inauguration, and defied him by refusing to defend the administration's hyper-controversial travel and immigration ban, which barred people from entering the United States from seven Muslim majority countries. She believed the order was unlawful, and in a memorable exchange with then-Senator Jeff Sessions during her confirmation hearing, she assured that she would not implement an unlawful order.
While the ultimate fate of the travel ban remains uncertain, her reasoning has since been supported by a number of rulings. Trump fired Yates for her refusal, and in the months since she's become an articulate public critic of his administration, and and admired figure among the progressive resistance to Trump. The ban has since been revised, and continues to be fought over in the federal court system.
6. Jessica Drake
Trump was also accused of unwanted sexual advances and forced kissing by adult film star Jessica Drake, who claims Trump invited her to a Lake Tahoe hotel room in 2006. According to Drake, she brought two friends with her to ease her discomfort, and Trump allegedly greeted the trio by immediately hugging and kissing them without consent, and allegedly offered her $10,000 to have sex with him, an offer she says she declined.
Trump has denied all such allegations, calling his accusers "horrible liars," and the Trump campaign called Drake's allegation "totally false and ridiculous."
7. Hillary Clinton
This is an obvious one, but no less true. Clinton, as the Democratic Party's presidential nominee, was as vocal and strident a critic of Trump's as any throughout the campaign. The phrase "Hillary warned us" is a very familiar sight on social media, often whenever Trump validates her warnings about giving the nuclear codes to someone so easily baited by tweets.
And she's continued delivering dire warnings as his presidency has unfolded. Just last month, in fact, Clinton told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow that she worried Trump would aspire to emulate Russian president Vladimir Putin, a glaring comment from a former political rival.
8. Megyn Kelly
Kelly was still working at Fox News during the Republican presidential primaries. She opened up the very first debate with a very pointed question directed at Trump, referencing his long history of sexist and demeaning statements towards women. Trump clearly took the question personally, answering it testily, and then attacking Kelly in crude terms for days.
In particular, Trump retweeted a fan who called Kelly a "bimbo," made what many believed to be a reference to her menstruating, and later, totally skipped a debate that she moderated. Kelly, for her part, reportedly told Fox News higher-ups that she received death threats from Trump supporters as a result.
9. Temple Taggart McDowell
In the final weeks leading up to the 2016 president election, McDowell joined the chorus of women who accused Trump of sexual assault and misconduct, alleging that he twice kissed her on the lips without her consent. McDowell was, at the time, a contestant in the Miss USA pageant, one of several beauty pageants run by Trump.
In a statement, Trump denied the claims and insisted he didn't even know who Taggart was, although the two were once photographed together.
10. Nancy O'Dell
It was O'Dell, one of the co-hosts of Entertainment Tonight, who Trump spoke about trying to seduce in the infamous Access Hollywood tapes, in which he also bragged about groping women's genitals without their consent. O'Dell publicly responded to Trump's objectifying and demeaning words after the tape came out, saying that no person should be the target of such language.
When I heard the comments yesterday, it was disappointing to hear such objectification of women. The conversation needs to change because no female, no person, should be the subject of such crass comments, whether or not cameras are rolling. Everyone deserves respect no matter the setting or gender. As a woman who has worked very hard to establish her career, and as a mom, I feel I must speak out with the hope that as a society we will always strive to be better.
11. Rev. Faith Green Timmons
A pastor in the city of Flint, Michigan, Timmons invited Trump to speak at her church during the presidential campaign, on the condition that he speak about Flint, not about politics. And yet, while addressing the congregation, Trump began attacking Hillary Clinton, leading Timmons to interrupt him and ask him to change topics.
Trump, looking somewhat flummoxed, obeyed her request and changed course. Then, after the event concluded, Trump attacked Timmons on Fox News, claiming she was a "nervous mess."
12. Jessica Leeds
Leeds was among the many women who accused Trump of alleged sexual misconduct during the 2016 presidential campaign. She claimed he allegedly groped her on an airplane in the early 1980s, likening him to an octopus. Trump, as with all such allegations, has strenuously denied her story, and specifically taunted Leeds by saying "she would not be my first choice."
13. Natasha Stoynoff
Stoynoff once covered Trump as a member of the press, having worked for People magazine during 2005, the same year Trump was recorded bragging about non-consensual groping on the Access Hollywood tape.
Stoynoff went public in Oct. 2016 with allegations that she herself was allegedly forcibly kissed by Trump while she was writing a story about his first wedding anniversary. Trump vehemently denied her claim, and seemingly implied, as he did about Leeds, that Stoynoff was not attractive enough for him to have assaulted her.
Take a look, you take a look. Look at her, look at her words, you tell me what you think. I don't think so.
14. Rosie O'Donnell
O'Donnell was one of the earliest and most visible examples of Trump going on the attack against a woman via the media. After the comedian questioned the true extent of Trump's personal wealth, he excoriated, insulted, and taunted her aggressively, most often attacking her personal attributes.
O'Donnell has subsequently described the experience of seeing the same man who publicly berated her, and in an interview with W magazine published on Oct. 24, commented that she's worried whether she'll be able to survive his presidency, recalling how she felt the night he won the election.
And to think that the man who had abused me so viciously and with impunity for over a decade was now running the country. I remember when I first met “presidents,” for lack of a better word. ... It was very trippy to think that the man who is now in that job is the one who was so brutal to me for speaking the truth about him a decade ago.
15. Mindy McGillivray
McGillivray accused Trump of allegedly groping her during an event at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, an allegation Trump denies. According to The Palm Beach Post, McGillivray was motivated to speak out publicly after Trump denied sexual misconduct during the second of three presidential debates, causing her to stand up from her seat and yell "you liar!" Trump's press director Hope Hicks denied the story, saying "there is no truth to this whatsoever."
16. Rep. Frederica Wilson
Wilson, a representative from the state of Florida, spoke out against Trump following his phone call to the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, one of the U.S. soldiers slain in Niger in early October. Wilson, who is close to the Johnson family and was listening in on the call, publicly alleged that Trump told the grieving Myeshia Johnson that her late husband "knew what he was signing up for," and Johnson herself later stated that Trump seemed unable to remember his name.
17. Cathy Heller
Last October, Heller accused Trump of allegedly grabbing and kissing her at an event at Mar-a-Lago on Mother's Day, where she was eating brunch with her husband and children. According to Heller, Trump reportedly angrily said, "oh, come on" when she tried to free herself from his grasp.
A spokesperson for Trump denied the allegations, insisting it would have been "the talk of Palm Beach" for years had it happened.
18. Rep. Maxine Waters
Waters, a longtime California representative, emerged in the early weeks and months of the Trump administration as one of his staunchest, most forceful, and most unapologetic critics, already talking impeachment mere weeks after his inauguration.
19. Karena Virginia
Virginia, a yoga instructor from New York City, accused Trump of allegedly groping her while she waited for a car at the U.S. Open in 1998. Speaking out in Oct. 2016, amid the flood of various allegations against Trump, Virginia claimed that prior to the alleged assault, he spoke about her body like she wasn't a person, but an object.
I knew who he was, but I had never met him. He was with a few other men. I was quite surprised when I overheard him talking to the other men about me. He said, 'Hey, look at this one, we haven't seen her before. Look at those legs.' As though I was an object, rather than a person.
Virginia says Trump allegedly groped her moments after making the crude remarks. Trump has repeatedly denied all these allegations, calling them "100 percent fiction," and portraying them as politically motivated.
Additionally, multiple women, adults and minors alike at the time of the alleged offenses, have claimed Trump reportedly entered dressing rooms while contestants at his beauty pageants were changing. Suffice to say, this is a long and deeply concerning litany of allegations, and ones that have provided some of the most vivid and harrowing public examples of women stepping forward to stand against Trump.