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Trump accuser lobbied to be his makeup artist months before her sex assault allegations roiled campaign

A New York cosmetics executive who publicly alleged Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US MORE sexually assaulted her in the 1990s repeatedly solicited the future president to become his campaign makeup artist and to pitch her new product line in the months before her story roiled the 2016 presidential race, according to the woman and her contemporaneous emails. 

“Hi Donald, you are doing a tremendous job of shaking things up in the United States. I am definitely on Team Trump as so many others are,” Jill Harth wrote Trump in an Oct. 1, 2015, email sent to him through his New York company’s headquarters.  

“I can’t watch television without seeing you or hearing your name everywhere! It’s a good thing for sure but PLEASE let me do your makeup for a television interview, a debate, a photo session, anything!” Harth wrote.

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“It kills me to see you looking too orange and with white circles under the eyes. I will get your skin looking smoother and even toned,” she added, boasting she would “sculpt your face” to look good on high-definition television sets.

In another email seeking to meet Trump personally, Harth offered to be a campaign surrogate willing to tell voters how Trump “helped me with my self-confidence and all positive things about how he is with women.”   

The emails use starkly different language than the words Harth used in both a withdrawn 1997 federal lawsuit and a series of late 2016 campaign interviews in which she accused Trump of sexually assaulting her more than two decades ago. Harth is one of 19 women who have reportedly accused Trump of sexual misconduct.

Harth acknowledged to The Hill that between the summer of 2015 and early 2016, as the presidential campaign was gearing up, she approached Trump’s corporate assistant and sent personal appeals directly to Trump seeking the business.

She said she asked to be hired as his campaign makeup artist, to have Trump consider investing in her new male cosmetics line and to ask Trump to be the pitchman for her “Made Man” trademarked line of male beauty products.

“In 2015 I was very excited about a new men’s cosmetic product line that I had developed and needed a prominent spokesperson. And after discussions with my business associate she thought Donald Trump would be ideal. I called Trump's executive assistant who asked me to put everything in writing by email with a formal proposal for Trump,” Harth said. 

Harth said the “flattering nature” of her business pitches “were necessary to satisfy Trump’s 'huge' ego” and that the passage of time had left her feeling comfortable asking for a job that would put her in close proximity to a man she accused of sexually assaulting years before.

“Yes, I had moved on but had not forgotten the pain he brought into my life,” she said, saying she underwent therapy to deal with her prior experiences. “I was older, wiser. Trump was married to Melania and I had hoped he was a changed man.”

Harth, a popular New York City makeup artist who owns her own cosmetics company, volunteered the story of her efforts to get hired by Trump during an interview in early December with The Hill about an unrelated topic: her relationship with well-known women’s rights attorney Lisa Bloom. 

Trump’s lawyers subsequently gave The Hill the contemporaneous emails Harth sent to him to confirm her account about her business solicitations. The Hill then interviewed her again this weekend. Harth's emails surfaced publicly during the 2016 presidential race. 

Trump has steadfastly denied assaulting or harassing women, even after a videotape surfaced in September 2016 in which he can be heard boasting that famous men like him can grab women by the genitals without consequence. Trump has dismissed the tape as "locker room talk."

Trump’s legal team declined comment Monday about Harth’s emails or her efforts to secure business help at the start of the campaign.

Harth said she started the lobbying efforts in summer 2015 as Trump’s improbable upstart presidential campaign was taking shape by sending an email to Trump’s longtime business assistant Rhona Graff, and then penned an email directly to Trump. 

Eventually, she said, she got a chance to make her pitch in person when she scored VIP tickets to one of his campaign events in South Carolina and met Trump backstage.

“I went to a rally for Trump in January 2016 in South Carolina. We met and we had an understanding that we would let ‘sleeping dogs lie’ in regards to that old complaint,” she emailed The Hill, describing the encounter.

The emails to Trump show Harth personally made the request to meet him at the South Carolina event and made a total of four different requests to do the president’s makeup, the first being sent on Aug. 6, 2015, to Graff. 

Harth wrote Graff that she had a “winner of a project that I want to approach Mr. Trump with” and that “I also would like to show my support for Donald and his campaign."

She added, “He knows better than anybody how important image is. He still looks great after all the time I’ve known him, since 1992, but I can make him look even better.”

In a Jan. 5, 2016, email to Graff, she also volunteered to attest publicly that Trump treated women nicely, including herself.

“I also want to put it out there that I would be willing to say at a rally or somewhere how [Trump] helped me with my self-confidence and all positive things about how he is with women to counter any potential negativity that may come out at some point in the campaign,” she wrote to Graff.

“I have always been very fond of Donald and I CARE about him,” Harth wrote to Graff in August.

In her 1997 lawsuit and during the 2016 campaign, Harth alleged that during a January 1993 meeting at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, the future president pushed her up against a wall and groped her, trying to get his hands up her dress.

Harth explained she never intended to resurrect the 1997 lawsuit or its allegations and had made peace in her mind about Trump, and that reporters forced her name unwillingly into the public domain when they discovered her old litigation.

She said she turned negative on Trump after hearing him deny her allegations. “Having to retell my experiences of Donald Trump's harassment is the hardest thing I've ever had to do,” she stated.

“Once the media rediscovered the complaint, Donald responded to it by repeatedly denigrating and disparaging me and releasing an old National Enquirer article from the '90s that he planted,” she said.

Harth dismissed any suggestion that her prior effort to win business from Trump early in the campaign or the donor support she received should affect the public’s view about her allegations, which she said are true.

“These continued attacks on accusers and our lawyers is what makes it so hard for women to speak out, even now,” she stated.

Today, she says Trump should be removed from office.

“I firmly believe Trump should resign or be investigated and impeached. Leopards don’t change their spots,” she told The Hill.  

The connection between Harth’s business interests and her accusations have been intertwined for the past two years. Harth said she asked prominent lawyer Bloom to represent her after media attention to her sexual assault allegations began hurting her business in fall 2016.

Bloom eventually started a GoFundMe.com fundraising effort to help Harth and located a donor that paid off Harth’s mortgage on her Queens apartment in New York City.

When Bloom went on TV once to defend her client, Harth touted a corresponding spike in the sales of her cosmetic products, according to a text message Harth sent the lawyer and a mutual friend.

“Omg Lisa!!! I got 87 orders!!!!” Harth texted. “My friend said you talked abut [sic] me on national tv and gave my website!!!! I can not thank you enough.”