Donald Trump’s campaign is denying Democrats’ claims – and those of a former adviser – that he helped pay the mortgage of a woman who years ago accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault and was just featured in a scathing Trump campaign video.
"There's no truth to that,” spokeswoman Hope Hicks told Fox News on Tuesday, responding to the mortgage claims.
The pushback comes after a Democrat-tied group posted the video and transcript of a February interview where Trump ally Roger Stone described efforts to financially help Kathleen Willey, who claims former President Clinton groped her in 1993.
Stone told host Alex Jones in that interview about efforts to raise money online so Willey could save her home, which has been in foreclosure, and “hit the road and start speaking out on Hillary.”
Stone, a longtime Republican campaign strategist and former Trump adviser, said they had raised a “substantial amount” and “Trump is himself a contributor.” He did not disclose how much Trump supposedly had given – though the Trump campaign now indicates he gave nothing.
As first reported by Reuters earlier this year, Willey is signed on as a paid spokeswoman for a Stone-created political action committee. Reuters also reported back in February that Stone was helping her raise money for her mortgage – but the comments about Trump’s supposed help were not widely circulated until the liberal Media Matters posted the interview video.
Clinton ally David Brock, who founded Media Matters and now runs the pro-Clinton Correct the Record, swiftly promoted the video through his new group.
“Nothing is below Donald Trump, including paying Kathleen Willey’s mortgage so she could ‘hit the road and start speaking out on Hillary,’” Brock said in a statement. “It is no surprise that this serial liar is willing to pay for the re-peddling of these unfounded, already-discredited claims. The media needs to ask: Who else is Trump paying?”
The GoFundMe page that Stone was promoting in his February interview is still far short of its $100,000 goal. As of Tuesday morning, the fund had raised just $7,119.
Willey’s allegations rocketed back into the news on Monday when Trump released an online video that features the accounts of her and Juanita Broaddrick (who has alleged that Bill Clinton raped her in 1978) describing their accusations. Bill Clinton has long denied their claims.
While Trump’s campaign is denying Stone’s claims that the billionaire businessman chipped in to help Willey as she prepared to speak out anew against the Clintons, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is defending the tactic of digging up the Clintons’ past scandals.
“I'm only responding to what they do,” he told Fox News on Monday. “… When [Hillary Clinton] hits me on things, I just have no choice. So, you have to do it. It's unfair. And you know they are dirty players. They have been dirty players, historically. And I have to fight back the way I have to fight back.”
Fox News’ John Roberts contributed to this report.