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Rachel Crooks, one of the women who accused Donald Trump of unwanted physical contact, is a Hillary Clinton supporter and donor, The New York Times reported.
When the story first broke before the election, the New York Times reported that Crooks (and Jessica Leeds, a second accuser) both “support Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president, and Ms. Crooks has made contributions of less than $200 to President Obama and Mrs. Clinton.”
Crooks told CNN a year later that she feels like she has been forgotten amid the #MeToo moment in which several prominent men have faced allegations of sexual assault and harassment from women. She and Leeds were also set to appear, along with another Donald Trump accuser, in an interview with Megyn Kelly on Monday, December 11.
“I think it’s been great, I’m so thankful that other women have the courage to come forward, but yes, I do feel forgotten,” Crooks told CNN. “You can’t help but wonder why people aren’t talking about Trump and the people that came forward for him. And why is he immune to this?”
Crooks told the Times last year that in 2005, when she was a 22-year-old receptionist at a company that was located inside Trump Tower, Trump forcefully kissed her without her consent during an encounter in an elevator. Crooks, who spoke out in October 2016 shortly beforeTrump’s election victory, is coordinator of international student services at a university in Ohio. The Trump campaign issued a strongly worded denial after the article’s publication, calling it “fiction,” and Trump himself personally denied the allegations to the newspaper. Neither woman reported the allegations to authorities, although they confided in others close to them, The Times reported. The allegations come just weeks before the election.
Crooks told CNN about the tape and the accusations against Trump, “I thought people would take it seriously. I mean, being the president of the United States is such a highly regarded position, you want someone, I think, of good character. And this is obviously evidence not of that. He certainly has some flaws, and I thought people would — I don’t know — take that into account at the polls… I think it’s just evidence of sort of the political atmosphere these days, we’re forgotten by politicians who think it’s more convenient to keep Trump in office, you know, have him just sweeping his indiscretions under the rug.”
The Times says that Crooks was a 22-year-old receptionist in 2005 working for The Bayrock Group, “a real estate investment and development company in Trump Tower” when the alleged incident occurred. The Times alleges that Crooks says she introduced herself to Trump outside an elevator, and Trump kissed her “directly on the mouth,” which she considers “so inappropriate.”
According to Crooks’ LinkedIn page, she was an “Office Assistant” for Bayrock Group, LLC “from June 2005 – June 2006.” It’s listed as her first job on her LinkedIn page.
Crooks is presently Coordinator of International Student Services at Bowling Green State University, in Bowling Green, Ohio, a position she has held since August 2016. Before that time, she worked in various capacities at Tiffin University in Ohio.
She was director of International Student Services for 5 years and one month, assistant director of International Enrollment Management for nine months, director of Transfer and Adult Students for four months, Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions for three years and two months, and Graduate Admissions Representative for 1 year and 2 months.
Trump’s statement responding to the Times article included this paragraph, “Further, the Times story buries the pro-Clinton financial and social media activity on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, reinforcing that this truly is nothing more than a political attack. This is a sad day for the Times.”
It was not immediately clear which social media activity the Trump statement was referring to; a Twitter page for a Rachel Crooks from Ohio has privatized its Tweets (the site is followed by Brianne Webb, who was named in the Times as Crooks’ sister. The article says Crooks had allegedly confided in Webb about the Trump incident). The Google cache from that Twitter page does have some political Tweets, but you can’t read the full content because of the privatization. Examples:
On Facebook, Crooks has liked a site called Liberals in America. Its cover picture is a photo of Barack Obama with the phrase, “Being a Liberal Doesn’t Make You Intelligent. It Is Being Intelligent That Makes You a Liberal.” A sample post from that site:
The site contains harsh criticism of Donald Trump. Crooks’ own posts on her page are not public.
Her other likes include the documentary Godless, which is a film about being an atheist, and The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
Crooks has a master’s degree in the Humanities from Tiffin University, as well as a bachelor of arts in Law and Society, and also lists hospitality management for Syracuse University under education, according to her LinkedIn page. At Syracuse, she was a member of the Varsity Volleyball team and a scholar/athlete. She graduated from Clyde High School.
The News Messenger reports that “She was a volleyball and basketball star at Clyde High School, named to the first-team All-Ohio in both sports. She received a full athletic scholarship to play volleyball at Syracuse University.”
The Trump campaign has fired back with an adamant denial of the two accounts in the Times. The statement says:
This entire article is fiction, and for the New York Times to launch a completely false, coordinated character assassination against Mr. Trump on a topic like this is dangerous. To reach back decades in an attempt to smear Mr. Trump trivializes sexual assault, and it sets a new low for where the media is willing to go in its efforts to determine this election.
It is absurd to think that one of the most recognizable business leaders on the planet with a strong record of empowering women in his companies would do the things alleged in this story, and for this to only become public decades later in the final month of a campaign for president should say it all.
Hillary’s communications director released a statement saying, “This disturbing story sadly fits everything we know about the way Donald Trump has treated women. These reports suggest that he lied on the debate stage and that the disgusting behavior he bragged about in the tape are more than just words.”
The Times claimed that Trump himself shouted that “none of this ever took place” to the Times and called the reporter a “disgusting human being.”