Donald Trump campaigns in Florida and Ohio. Hillary Clinton raises money in San Francisco.

Trump denies groping allegations, lashes out at media

 (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)
(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

Donald Trump angrily denied allegations by several women of sexual misconduct and lashed out against the media as an arm of Hillary Clinton’s campaign hell-bent on preventing him from winning the White House.

“These vicious claims about me of inappropriate conduct with women are totally and absolutely false,” the Republican nominee told a rally in West Palm Beach, Fla. “These claims are all fabricated. They’re pure fiction and they’re outright lies. These events never happened.”

Trump said the allegations that he kissed and groped women without their consent, emerging four weeks before the election,  are evidence that the political establishment and special interests are frightened by Trump’s campaign and his supporters.

“Our campaign represents a true existential threat like they haven’t seen before,” Trump said. “This is not simply another four-year election. This is a crossroads in the history of our civilization.”

Trump response came after multiple women complained in news accounts about Trump touching their bodies and kissing them against their will.

The women said they decided to speak out, years after the alleged misconduct, because Trump had dismissed a recording of him making crude comments about women as “locker room talk” rather than sexually aggressive behavior.

Trump had special ire for the New York Times, which published a page one story Thursday about two women who allege that Trump made unwanted advances years ago. One said Trump had groped her on an airplane and the other said Trump had forcibly kissed her at Trump Tower.

In an exchange of letters Thursday, the newspaper's lawyer rejected a demand from Trump's lawyers to retract the article and to apologize.

Trump also mocked an article published Wednesday night by a former People magazine writer who wrote that Trump mauled her when she visited his Mar-A-Lago club in Florida to write a story about the first anniversary of Trump's marriage to Melania, his third wife.

Trump said the writer wrote a “beautiful” story about the couple, and questioned why she did not include the groping allegation in her piece, which he said would have made it “one of the biggest stories of the year.”

Trump then appeared to allude to the writer’s looks.

“Take a look at her. Take a look at her words. You tell me what you think,” Trump said. “I don’t think so.”

Trump said the allegations had been personally painful and he tried to use them to rally his supporters to go to the polls.

“The only thing that can stop this corrupt machine is you,” he said.

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