Attorneys for President Trump have posted a video of a 2016 encounter between Trump and then-campaign worker Alva Johnson that they claim refutes her allegation he forcibly kissed her.
The 15-second video “shows that Plaintiff’s allegations in the Complaint that Mr. Trump ‘forcibly’ kissed her, and kissed her ‘on the mouth,’ are entirely false,” attorney Charles Harder wrote in a court filing.
The video was recorded by campaign volunteer Brian Hayes on his cellphone in a recreational vehicle ahead of a Tampa, Fla., rally in 2016.
“In watching the Video, the only conclusion a reasonable person could reach is that the exchange was an innocent moment between a dedicated campaign staffer and the candidate for whom she was working,” Harder added.
Attorneys for Johnson, however, claim the clip backs up her account by proving she and Trump interacted at the time she claimed.
“We are gratified and pleased that we finally have proof what Ms. Johnson has been alleging in this lawsuit,” Hassan Zavareei, an attorney for Johnson, told Politico. “It is basically exactly what Ms. Johnson has been saying.”
Zavareei told the news outlet that Johnson does not appear to react adversely in the video because she did not appreciate the gravity of the moment until the release of a 2006 recording in which Trump tells then-“Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush that his fame allows him to get away with groping women.
“Does it look dramatic? No. That does not mean it wasn’t a serious battery. It’s a battery because she didn’t want it to happen. It’s not an appropriate thing to do to another person,” he said.
Zavareei also said the video evidence that Johnson was present on the RV contradicts a claim by Trump Florida campaign chief Karen Giorno, who said she could not recall Johnson being present on the RV.
A federal judge dismissed Johnson’s lawsuit in June and told her to refile it after excising references to allegations by more than a dozen other women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct and quotes from news reports.