A top Donald Trump economic adviser disputed a New York Times report Thursday, claiming that a woman who accused Trump of forcing himself on her on an airplane in the 1980s had fabricated her account because “stewardesses do not have the right to move somebody from coach to first class."
Jessica Leeds alleged that she met Trump in the 1980s on a flight to New York. Leeds told the Times that after she was moved to first class and seated next to Trump, he lifted up the armrest between them and grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt 45 minutes into the flight.
"This woman says she got on an airplane and the stewardess took her to first class. That's never happened to me!" Curtis Ellis said to Virginia radio host John Fredricks.
Ellis is a trade policy adviser to Trump and the executive director of the American Jobs Alliance.
"I've got friends who work in the travel industry. They're travel writers. These people travel all the time and they say, 'That's ridiculous. Stewardesses do not have the right to move somebody from coach to first class,'" Ellis added. "The details of the story just don't add up. Move her to first class and they put her down next to Donald Trump. I mean, come on."
On Wednesday, Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson said Leeds' story could not have happened because “first-class seats have fixed armrests.”
Nathaniel Meyersohn is a political reporting intern and is based in New York.
Contact Nathaniel Meyersohn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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