Washington, July 12: Lawyer of United States President Donald Trump has released a video of him kissing former campaign staffer Alva Johnson on the cheek and arguing that it contradicts Johnson's claimed that Trump forcibly kissed her on the mouth without consent. The 15-second video shows then-presidential candidate interacting with Johnson before the Florida rally in August 2016.
Johnson filed a lawsuit against Trump earlier this year alleging that his actions had traumatized her and she was paid less than her white colleagues for the campaign. The clip was recovered by Trump's legal team. Instead of providing clarity, the clip led to conflicting interpretations. Alva Johnson, Former Trump Campaign Staffer, Files Lawsuit Alleging She Was Kissed by Him Without Consent.
In a Wednesday court filing, Charles Harder, an attorney for Trump, refuted to Johnson's claim as “unmeritorious and frivolous.” He argued that the video shows that the interaction was mutual and not "forcible". Trump's team has been denying Johnson's claim from the start. In February, then-White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that “this never happened and is directly contradicted by multiple highly credible eye witness accounts.”
Reacting to the clip, Hassan Zavareei, Johnson's lawyer, said that the video confirms what Alva had said. "Now, whether or not everybody would have felt violated by that is an open question. But Alva was," Zavareei said. "And she testified exactly why she felt uncomfortable. She testified that she didn’t really know how to react when it happened and that she was confused and uncomfortable," he added.