Mike Pence told viewers of “The Today Show” on Friday that the Trump campaign has proof that at least one of the alleged sexual assault encounters is false. That proof is a 54-year-old British man.
Anthony Gilberthorpe, a man who said he was on the plane when Jessica Leeds alleges Trump assaulted her, wrote a note to the New York Post refuting Leeds’ 30-year-old claims.
“I have only met this accuser once and frankly cannot imagine why she is seeking to make out that Trump made sexual advances on her,” Gilberthorpe wrote, the Post reported. “Not only did he not do so (and I was present at all times) but it was she that was the one being flirtatious.”
Trump’s campaign arranged the exclusive interview with The Post in which he “said he was on the flight — in either 1980 or 1981— where Jessica Leeds claimed Trump groped her.”
Gilberthorpe told The Post that he saw nothing inappropriate, although a “shrill” Leeds was “trying to hard” to get Trump’s affections.
He also said he was angry when Leeds told Anderson Cooper on Wednesday that he did not try to help her during the alleged assault.
"The guy in the seat across the aisle could see,” Leeds said on CNN. “And I kept thinking, maybe the stewardess is going to come and he'll stop, but she never came.”
Gilberthorpe – who once had a newspaper to publish a fake engagement announcement, Heavy reported – told The Post that after Trump excused himself to use the bathroom, Leeds told him that she wanted to marry the billionaire.
Gilberthorpe also made headlines in 2014 when hetold the Mirrorthat he witnessed senior Tory politicians have “sex parties” with underage boys.
The “former Conservative activist” claimed at the time that he supplied the politicians with the underage boys. All the men he accused were dead by the time he gave out their names to Margaret Thatcher.
Former Home Office minister David Mellor called Gilberthorpe a “chap who is annoyed that he was not chosen as a Tory candidate,”the Independent reportedin 2014.
According to The Post, Gilberthorpe, who would have been about 18 at the time of the incident with Leeds, has no proof – videos, photos, tickets – that he was on that flight. Gilberthorpe told The Post he has a “photographic memory” and recognized Leeds and even remembered what she was wearing on the flight.
“What [Leeds] said about Trump is wrong,” he told The Post. “I mean, no decent human being could sit by and have a woman go on television and tell the United States of America — accuse an individual of sexually molesting. It’s wrong for Trump, it’s wrong for me. But you know something else? It’s wrong for the American people.”
Gilberthorpe said he would have come forward to refute false allegations regardless of who was being accused and that politics is not why he is stepping forward.
“If there’s evidence Trump’s done it, sure, hang him from the post, but I was there, I was in a position to know that what she said was wrong, wrong, wrong,” he said.
Gilberthorpe even told The Post that he is ready to confront Leeds face-to-face.
“I will go to head to head with her — I will meet her again. I will see her eyes across the table with my eyes and I will challenge her on the points she made,” he told The Post. “And I’ll tell you what, I would do this whether it was for Trump, for Clinton, for Obama, or for any man who’s been accused of sexually molesting someone when I know he did not.”
According to The Post and Heavy, Leeds has not yet commented.
Trump addressed the accusations while campaigning in Florida on Friday.
"Oh, I was with Donald Trump in 1980," Trump said in a voice mimicking his accuser, NPR reported. "I was sitting with him on an airplane, and he went after me on the plane."
"Yeah, I'm going to go after you," Trump continued. "Believe me – she would not be my first choice. That I can tell you."
"You don't know. That would not be my first choice."
Trump camp puts forward witness to refute sex assault claim https://t.co/5P5HgSBUIF— New York Post (@nypost) October 15, 2016