Another Woman Just Came Forward to Say Trump Assaulted Her

Esther Yu-Hsi Lee

Esther Yu-Hsi Lee Immigration Reporter, Think Progress

Just one day after the third and final presidential debate, another woman has come forward to say that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump groped her 18 years ago after a U.S. Open tennis tournament in Queens, New York.

Karena Virginia — a self-described yoga instructor and life coach who lives in the New York City region — said at a press conference on Thursday morning that Trump approached her in 1998 while she was waiting for her car service in Flushing, New York.

“As I was waiting, Donald Trump approached me,” she said. “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 with 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 became visibly emotional when she described Trump groping her.

“He then walked up to me and reached his right arm and grabbed my right arm,” she said. “Then his hand touched the right inside of my breast. I was in shock. I flinched. ‘Don’t you know who I am?’”

“I am here today to add my voice to that of other Trump accusers.”

She said that the experience left her feeling “intimidated and powerless.” And she blamed herself: She said the experience left her feeling ashamed for wearing “short dresses and high heels” for “a long time.”

Virginia said that she chose to talk publicly about her experience now because of the recent release of an Access Hollywood tape in which Trump brags about assaulting women without their consent — and because she wanted to be supportive of the other women who have since come forward to accuse Trump of sexual assault.

Virginia’s account of her chance encounter with Trump tracks closely with what other women say they have experienced.

The Republican presidential candidate has repeatedly denied all of these accusations, dismissing his comments as “locker room talk.” Trump has also bashed many of the woman, calling many of them liars and suggesting that some of them were too unattractive for him to sexually harass. During Wednesday’s presidential debate, he suggested that all the women who have come forward over the past several weeks are “seeking fame.”

Trump’s wife Melania has also defended him, saying that he was “egged on” by then-Access Hollywood host Billy Bush to engage in “boy talk.”

The emotions that Virginia said she experienced fit into a bigger pattern of victims blaming themselves for unwanted sexual advances and feeling ashamed for being the subject of an assault.

Although she said some people advised her not to come forward with her story because she would likely be labeled “as just another nasty woman” — an allusion to what Trump called Hillary Clinton during the final debate — Virginia said she ultimately felt compelled to go public because she felt “it is my duty as a woman, as a mother, a human being, and as a American citizen to speak out about what happened to me.”

“I am here today to add my voice to that of other Trump accusers, I am here to stand up to Mr. Trump for myself, for my family, particularly my daughter and for all the women who deserve to be respected and not subjected to sexual abuse by powerful men,” she added.

***

This was reposted from ThinkProgress.

Esther Yu-Hsi Lee is an Immigration Reporter/Blogger for ThinkProgress. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Middle East Studies and a M.A. in Psychology from New York University. A Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiary, Esther is passionate about immigration issues from all sides of the debate. She is originally from Los Angeles, CA.

Posted In: Allied Approaches

Union Matters

Steel for Wind Power

From the USW

From tumbledown bridges to decrepit roads and failing water systems, crumbling infrastructure undermines America’s safety and prosperity. In coming weeks, Union Matters will delve into this neglect and the urgent need for a rebuilding campaign that creates jobs, fuels economic growth and revitalizes communities. 

Siemens Gamesa last month laid off 130 workers at its turbine blade manufacturing plant in Iowa, just months after GE Renewable Energy decided to close an Arkansas factory and eliminate 470 jobs.

The companies reported shrinking demand for their products, even though U.S. consumption of wind energy increases every year.

America’s prosperity depends not only on harnessing this crucial energy source but also ensuring that highly skilled U.S. workers build the components with the cleanest technology available.

Right now, the nation relies on imported steel and turbine components from foreign manufacturers like China while America’s own steel industry—well equipped for this production—struggles because of dumping and other unfair trade practices.

Steel makes up the bulk of turbine hubs and the wind towers themselves. It’s also used to make the cranes and platforms necessary for installing the towers.

Yet the potential boon to America’s steel industry is just one reason to ramp up domestic production of wind energy infrastructure.

American steel production ranks among the cleanest in the world, while China has the highest carbon emissions of any steelmaking nation and flouts environmental regulations.

The nation’s highly-skilled steelmaking workforce must play an essential role in the deeply-needed revitalization and modernization of the nation’s failing infrastructure. Producing the components for harnessing wind energy domestically and cleanly is an important step that will put Americans to work and position the United States to be world leaders in this growing industry.

 

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work