Trump Calls Sexual Assault Claims Against Him "Fake News"

Donald Trump speaks to reporters in the Rose Garden -OCTOBER 16, 2017 - Getty-H 2017
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The president made the comments during a hastily arranged press conference with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, during which the two pledged to work together on the GOP goal of overhauling federal taxes and proclaimed that despite reports to the contrary, their relationship is fine.

President Donald Trump is calling allegations of sexual assault made against him over the years "fake news."

Trump, during a freewheeling Rose Garden press conference Monday, made the remark in response to a question about a subpoena reportedly issued to his campaign for documents related to sexual harassment allegations against him.

Trump said, "All I can say is it's totally fake news — just fake. It's fake, it's made-up stuff. And it's disgraceful what happens."

He added, "That happens in the world of politics."

The question came in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Hollywood titan Harvey Weinstein that spanned decades. 

At the press conference, Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) pledged to work together on the GOP goal of overhauling federal taxes, proclaiming that despite reports to the contrary, their relationship is just fine.

"We're probably now closer than ever before," the president said alongside McConnell at the hastily scheduled joint news conference.

"My relationship with this gentleman is outstanding," added Trump, who spent the month of August attacking McConnell for failing to pass legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, calling the failure "a disgrace."

McConnell seconded the president's latest views.

"Contrary to what some of you may have reported, we are together, totally, on this agenda to move America forward," said McConnell, who had complained over the summer that Trump had "excessive expectations" for how quickly Congress could act.

The two took questions at length from a quickly assembled White House press corps that stood bunched together on the lawn since there wasn't even time to set up chairs.

Trump defended his former top adviser, Steve Bannon, who is now threatening all-out political war on McConnell and establishment Republicans, including incumbent senators. But the president also suggested he might try to talk Bannon out of some of his threats against Senate Republicans whom McConnell pledged to defend.

"Just so you understand, the Republican Party is very, very unified," Trump insisted.

It was not clear what led to the impromptu question-and-answer session, which followed lunch between the two men at the White House. It comes at a critical time, with the Senate poised to take a crucial vote this week on a budget that would set the stage for tax legislation that many Republicans view as make-or-break following the failure on health care.

The last time McConnell was at the White House was early last month. On that occasion, President Trump bypassed McConnell and Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan to cut a deal with the Senate's Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on debt and spending.

Trump also denounced the investigation into his campaign's involvement with Russia, which is being conducted by a special counsel and GOP-led congressional committees.

"The whole Russia thing was an excuse for the Democrats losing an election," Trump said. "There has been absolutely no collusion ... they ought to get to the end of it" because people are sick of it, he added.

The president also got a question about Hillary Clinton and took the occasion to implore her to run again in 2020.