Donald Trump: 56 Democrats call for probe into sexual misconduct allegations

Donald Trump: 56 Democrats call for probe into sexual misconduct allegations

Donald Trump: 56 Democrats call for probe into sexual misconduct allegations

Updated 12 December 2017, 14:40 AEDT

More than 50 Democratic women in the US House of Representatives call for a congressional investigation into allegations by various women of sexual misconduct against the President.

Three women who have accused United States President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct have called for a congressional investigation into his behaviour, amid a wave of similar accusations against prominent men in Hollywood, the media and politics.

Key points:

  • A film has been produced featuring 16 Donald Trump accusers
  • Women say they believe Mr Trump should be held accountable
  • Mr Trump, White House deny allegations

Over the past two years, more than a dozen women have accused Mr Trump of making unwanted sexual advances against them years before he entered politics.

Three of his accusers — Jessica Leeds, Rachel Crooks and Samantha Holvey — told a news conference that the accusations warranted new consideration given the broader discussion of sexual harassment in US society.

Brave New Films, a not-for-profit filmmaker, produced a video featuring 16 of Mr Trump's accusers and organised the news conference in New York.

In the film, women accused Mr Trump of kissing them without permission, grabbing their private parts, putting his hand up their skirts, or making other unwanted advances.

Congress should "put aside their party affiliations and investigate Mr Trump's history of sexual misconduct", said Ms Crooks, a former receptionist for a real estate firm, who was flanked by Ms Leeds and Ms Holvey.

The women said they did not think Mr Trump would resign over the allegations, but that he should be held accountable.

Mr Trump and White House officials have denied the allegations, some of which date back to the 1980s.

"These false claims, totally disputed in most cases by eyewitness accounts, were addressed at length during last year's campaign, and the American people voiced their judgment by delivering a decisive victory," a White House spokesperson said in a statement, questioning the women's timing and political motives.

Nikki Haley backs right of women to speak up

Mr Trump, a Republican, faces legal action in one related case.

A number of powerful and high-profile men have been accused in recent months of sexual misconduct, including three members of Congress, Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein and former NBC news anchor Matt Lauer.

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations and one of the most high-profile women in Mr Trump's administration, said on Sunday that any woman who has felt mistreated by a man has the right to speak up, even if she is accusing the president.

Democrat Chris Coons, a member of the Senate Judiciary panel, said it was unlikely that the Republican-controlled Congress would act on the accusations, which were known before the November 2016 presidential election.

"My hunch is it gets reviewed at the next election," Senator Coons told CNN.

Sexual harassment accusations have also been made against Republican candidate Roy Moore, who is running in a US Senate race this week in Alabama.

Mr Trump has backed Mr Moore, a former judge, even as congressional Republicans denounced the candidate and called on him to pull out of the race.

The accusations against Mr Trump emerged during the 2016 presidential campaign when a videotape surfaced of a 2005 conversation caught on an open microphone in which Mr Trump spoke in vulgar terms about trying to have sex with women.

Mr Trump apologised for the remarks, but called them private "locker-room talk" and said he had not done the things he talked about.