AUTHOR’S NOTE: This blog post contains a description of sexual harassment by an individual who is now a major-party nominee for the office of President of the United States. Reader discretion is advised.
On the heels (no pun intended) of the Donald Trump Access Hollywood scandal, in which Trump bragged on tape about grabbing women by their genitalia without their consent, another major scandal involving inappropriate behavior by Trump has hit the headlines. This time, KCBS-TV, the CBS affiliate in Los Angeles, is reporting on their website that Trump had walked in on undressed beauty pageant contestants who were competing in the then-Trump-owned Miss USA pageant and forced them to, as a former Miss Arizona put it, “go fawn all over him” while wearing little or no clothing:
As Miss Arizona, Tasha Dixon, then 18, competed in the Miss USA pageant, which was owned by Donald Trump for 19 years, along with the Miss Universe and Miss Teen USA pageants.
“Our first introduction to him was when we were at the dress rehearsal and half naked changing into our bikinis,” Dixon recalled. “He just came strolling right in. There was no second to put a robe on or any sort of clothing or anything. Some girls were topless. Other girls were naked.”
She said she and her fellow contestants were put in an awkward position when “the owner come waltzing in when we were naked or half naked in a very physically vulnerable position and then to have the pressure of the people that worked for him telling us to go fawn all over him, go walk up to him, talk to him, get his attention.”
I firmly believe that Tasha Dixon is telling the truth. In particular, two reasons convince me that Dixon is being fully honest:
- The CBS affiliate in Los Angeles, KCBS-TV, which is owned by the CBS television network as an owned-and-operated affiliate (unlike most CBS affiliates, which are owned by a different company than the CBS network itself), is running a report about this on their website.
- There’s a 2005 recording of a Trump appearance on The Howard Stern Show, then a radio show syndicated to over-the-air radio stations, of Trump himself bragging about walking in on beauty pageant contestants in the dressing room.
Regarding the 2005 Trump recording, here’s a transcript of it, courtesy of KCBS-TV:
Trump: “I’ll go backstage before a show and everyone’s getting dressed and ready and everything else. And you know, no men are anywhere. And I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant. And therefore, I’m inspecting it. You know I’m inspecting it. I want to make sure everything is good.”
Stern: “You’re like a doctor.”
Trump: “Is everyone OK? You know they’re standing there with no clothes. Is everybody OK? And you see these incredible looking women. And so I sort of get away with things like that.”
It’s clear to me that Trump walked in on female contestants in his beauty pageant while they were partially and/or fully naked. That kind of behavior is extremely inappropriate, and someone who engages in that kind of behavior does not belong in any kind of public office, especially the highest public office in the entire country.