Former Trump staffer Alva Johnson sues Trump for sexual harassment, pay discrimination
On Monday, former Trump campaign staffer Alva Johnson alleged in a lawsuit that President Trump forcibly kissed her without her consent during the 2016 presidential race. She is also suing the president for pay discrimination, claiming she was paid less because she is a Black woman.
According to CNN, the lawsuit states, “Ms. Johnson noticed that Defendant Trump was watching her and appeared to be trying to make eye contact with her… As Defendant Trump spoke, he tightened his grip on Ms. Johnson’s hand and leaned towards her. He moved close enough that she could feel his breath on her skin.
It continued, “Ms. Johnson suddenly realized that Defendant Trump was trying to kiss her on the mouth, and attempted to avoid this by turning her head to the right. Defendant Trump kissed her anyway, and the kiss landed on the corner of her mouth.”
The lawsuit also names a number of witnesses, from Regional Directors Earl “Tony” Ledbetter to then-Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
However, Bondi told CNN, “As a career prosecutor and Attorney General, had I seen anything improper I would have taken action. I was with the president in the RV and these allegations are false.”
In addition to sexual harassment, the lawsuit claims “Ms. Johnson was also underpaid compared to similarly qualified and less qualified male staffers. She did not know this fact until very recently. Ms. Johnson’s experience is not isolated— indeed, the Campaign engaged in systemic gender discrimination in pay against its female employees.”
In a statement, national press secretary for the Trump campaign Kayleigh McEnany told reporters, “The Trump campaign has never discriminated based on race, ethnicity, gender, or any other basis. Any allegation suggesting otherwise is off base and unfounded.”