- Carlo Allegri/Reuters
- Alva Johnson, who worked on President Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016, alleges Trump attempted to kiss her without consent.
- Johnson said the incident took place outside of a rally in Tampa, Florida, in August 2016, describing the alleged incident as “super-creepy and inappropriate.”
- The White House and Trump campaign have denied Johnson’s allegations.
A woman who worked on President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign alleges he kissed her without consent at a Tampa, Florida, rally in August of that year.
Alva Johnson, 43, said Trump grabbed her hand and attempted to kiss her as he exited an RV outside of the rally on August 24, 2016, according to details in a new federal lawsuit and an interview with the Washington Post. The alleged kiss landed on the side of her mouth because she turned her head in an effort to avoid it.
“Oh, my God, I think he’s going to kiss me,” Johnson said in an interview as she offered details on her allegations. “He’s coming straight for my lips. So I turn my head, and he kisses me right on corner of my mouth, still holding my hand the entire time. Then he walks on out.”
Johnson described the alleged incident as “super-creepy and inappropriate,” adding, “I immediately felt violated because I wasn’t expecting it or wanting it. I can still see his lips coming straight for my face.”
The White House is denying Johnson’s allegations.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a statement to INSIDER said, “This accusation is absurd on its face. This never happened and is directly contradicted by multiple highly credible eye witness accounts.”
Trump has been accused of sexual misconduct by nearly two dozen women, but Johnson is the first to come forward with allegations of this nature since he entered the White House. She is also the first 2016 campaign staffer to make such an accusation.
Johnson said she told her boyfriend, mother, and stepfather what transpired in the hours that followed the rally, which they all corroborated to the Post. Additionally, she claimed two Trump supporters – a campaign official and Pam Bondi, who was Florida’s attorney general at the time – witnessed the alleged incident. But both have denied witnessing anything along these lines, the Post reported.
“I’ve tried to let it go,” Johnson told the Post. “You want to move on with your life. I don’t sleep. I wake up at four in the morning looking at the news. I feel guilty. The only thing I did was show up for work one day.”
Johnson, a mother of four who works as an event planner in Madison County, Alabama, is seeking damages for emotional pain and suffering. The lawsuit she filed also alleges Johnson was discriminated against because she’s black and paid less than her white counterparts.
Kayleigh McEnany, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, told the Post that Johnson’s claim she was discriminated against was “off-base and unfounded.”