Donald Trump lashed out an ex-White House staffer, one of several who have recently alleged the former president sexually harassed women while in office, calling her a “backbencher.”
In the wake of a jury finding Trump liable for defaming and sexually abusing E. Jean Carroll, at least three women who worked in the White House during his presidency have spoken out about questionable behavior they said they witnessed. Their accusations came shortly after a jury on May 9 awarded Carroll $5 million in a judgment that could haunt Trump as he seeks the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election.
While more than a dozen of women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct over the years, Carroll’s allegations are the only ones to have been affirmed by a jury verdict. Trump has denied any wrongdoing and intends to appeal the Carroll judgment.
Stephanie Grisham, a former White House press secretary, and Alyssa Farah Griffin, a former White House communications director, have accused Trump of a pattern of behaving inappropriately with women while in office, including sexual harassment. Olivia Troye, an adviser to former vice president Mike Pence and the lead staffer on the White House coronavirus task force, echoed their claims and said Trump’s behavior was common knowledge among senior staff.
In an appearance on CNN on earlier this month, Farah Griffin said there were “countless” cases of questionable behavior that she took to chief of staff Mark Meadows because she thought the way Trump “engaged with women was dangerous.”
Trump assailed Farah Griffin, now a co-host of ABC’s The View, in a Saturday social media post, which included a video clip of Farah Griffin praising her former boss.
“Backbencher in the Trump Administration, Alyssa Farah, like so many other sleazebags, had only glowing reviews of the Trump Administration until long after she left,” Trump said on his TruthSocial platform. “A loser then, and a loser now! More to follow.”
Newsweek reached out via email to representatives for Trump for comment.
While discussing the Carroll verdict in her CNN appearance on May 10, Farah Griffin, who quit as White House communications director in December 2020, said Trump displayed a pattern of behaving inappropriately with women.
“I have countless cases of what I considered impropriety in the White House that I brought to the chief of staff because I thought the way he engaged with women was dangerous,” Farah Griffin said.
Fellow staffer turned Trump critic, Grisham detailed sexist language and lewd remarks in her 2021 book I’ll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw at the Trump White House. The memoir included examples of Trump’s alleged harassment of women in the White House, echoed by her comments while speaking with CNN’s Erin Burnett earlier this month. Grisham said Trump would often comment on women’s looks, but said “with this one staffer, it was it was really bad to the point that I was extremely uncomfortable.”
Grisham said Trump had taken a shine to an unnamed young press staffer, but she tried to keep the woman away from him. She said the then-president repeatedly invited the young aide to his Air Force One cabin, including once where Trump allegedly said: “let’s bring her up here and look at her a**.”
She said after that incident she “did everything I could to keep her off of trips actually and to stay with her if she was with him alone, because I was really nervous about what could happen.”
The staffer who was the subject of the allegation told Newsweek the claims are “totally false.” Newsweek has granted the staffer anonymity because she did not want to be publicly identified. When asked about the staffer’s denial, Grisham told Newsweek that the woman wasn’t in the room when Trump allegedly made comments.
Christina Bobb, attorney for Trump, defended him against the ex-staffers’ sexual harassment claims, saying she has “never once” felt uncomfortable by the former president’s comments or behavior.
“I love working for him and working with him,” Bobb, who started working for Trump in 2020 and is representing the Trump 2024 campaign, told Newsweek previously. “He’s a great man, funny and a pleasure to be around.”