Washington: A day after Jessica Leeds accused Donald Trump of sexual assault in a story reported by The New York Times, Fox Business anchor Lou Dobbs used his large audience on Twitter — roughly 797K followers — to advertise the woman’s New York address and telephone number.
Just before 10am Thursday, Dobbs retweeted a post shared by a Trump supporter that contained a link to a conservative news site. The post listed Leeds’s personal information — taken from public records — and then falsely claimed that the woman’s phone number linked her to the Clinton Foundation, Politico reported.
“This is the Dirtiest Campaign in our History,” Dobbs wrote in the retweet.
It was then shared more than 1,200 times and liked more than 1,500 times. The Trump supporter’s tweet was later deleted, though it’s unclear by whom.
Dobbs also tweeted a direct link to the original post, reported Politico, but it was deleted, too.
In a follow-up tweet, Dobbs linked to the Politico story about his original tweet and wrote an apology.
“My Retweet, My Mistake, My Apology to Jessica Leeds,” he tweeted.
The post claimed that Leeds’s phone number matched one listed for the Clinton Foundation in WikiLeaks releases, though only five of the 10 digits were the same, reported Business Insider, and three of those overlapping numbers included an area code for New York.
Fox Business did not respond to a request for comment Thursday, according to Business Insider, though many users on Twitter called for Dobbs to face disciplinary action.
Leeds, 74, was one of two women who accused Donald Trump of groping and kissing them without permission in a story published in The New York Times this week. After their accusations hit the internet, several more women stepped forward to report similar behaviour, including a People magazine reporter who wrote in an essay in the publication that Trump pinned her against a wall during a 2005 interview at his Florida estate, “forcing his tongue down my throat.”
In the Times story, Leeds accused Trump of groping her breast and trying to shove his hand up her skirt while they sat side-by-side on a first class flight. At the time, she was 38.
“He was like an octopus,” she told the Times. “His hands were everywhere.”
Leeds spoke to CNN’s Anderson Cooper in another interview Thursday, telling him that the encounter with Trump lasted “about 15 minutes” and that Trump kissed her “where he could find a landing spot.”
When he allegedly tried to reach his hand up her skirt, Leeds said, she fled to the back of the aeroplane.
Trump and his supporters spent the day Thursday seeking to discredit the accusations of Leeds and the other women who have stepped forward, calling their claims “vicious” and “totally and absolutely false.”
He called the women “horrible, horrible liars.”
— Washington Post