Lawyer representing Trump accuser pushes back against others' dismissal of allegations

A lawyer representing the former campaign staffer who has accused President TrumpDonald John TrumpThis week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry Impeachment week: Trump probe hits crucial point Judd Gregg: The big, big and bigger problem MORE of kissing her without her consent in 2016 pushed back on Monday against claims by others who denied that the incident took place.

“They saw what happened,” attorney Hassan Zavareei said during an interview with Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball on “Rising.”

“Well — two of them saw what happened — the third so-called witness wasn’t even in there, so she’s clearly not telling the truth when she claims that nothing happened because she wasn’t there and wasn’t in a position to see it and Mrs. Johnson has video tape showing who was in the RV and who was not ,” Zavareei continued.

Alva Johnson, who worked for the Trump campaign in Florida, alleges in a new lawsuit that Trump grabbed her hand and attempted to kiss her on the mouth before a Florida rally in August 2016.

“I can still see his lips coming straight for my face,” Johnson told The Washington Post, which first broke the story. 

Johnson said at least two other campaign staffers witnessed the incident. But those individuals, including former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (R), told the Post that they didn't see the alleged kiss. Trump’s former press director, Stephanie Grisham, who now serves as first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpTrump gets a warm reception at Alabama-LSU game Comedy group swaps Trump Jr. book jacket with fake title: 'Daddy, Please Love Me' Man pleads guilty in plot to attack Cleveland on July 4 MORE's spokeswoman, also denied Johnson's allegation.

Zavareei on Monday also responded to criticism surrounding the timing of Johnson’s decision to come forward, telling Hill.TV that she initially didn’t know how to “contextualize and understand what had happened to her.”

The attorney said that changed after the so-called “Access Hollywood” tape resurfaced.

“She didn’t really know what it meant until the 'Access Hollywood' tape came out and when she heard that, she immediately felt like Trump was basically explaining to her and the rest of the world exactly what he meant — that this was his M.O. for sexual assault,” the attorney said.

In October 2016, the Post published a recording of Trump making lewd comments about women in 2005.

“It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” Trump said in the tape.

Zavareei said Johnson remained with the campaign for about six weeks before leaving to seek legal counsel. 

“She moved out of campaign housing, she tried to hire a lawyer, she started hearing a therapist, but unfortunately, the lawyer after a few weeks … said that he couldn’t take the case because of business reasons,” the attorney told Hill.TV.

Johnson is now seeking unspecified damages for emotional pain and suffering.

The federal lawsuit also alleges that Johnson was discriminated against because she was paid less than her male colleagues.

“Black women have been victims of sexual assaults since they were introduced to our country through the nation’s original sin of slavery,” Zavareei said. “So the notion that there is somehow something inconsistent sexually assaulting an African American while also degrading her and also treating her less than her white counterparts is nothing new.”

—Tess Bonn