Trump Spokesperson Tries To Debunk Assault Allegations With Airplane Knowledge

Filed Under: Media, Videos

One of the most controversial and talked about topics the past week involves allegations of Trump assaulting women. A woman named Jessica Leeds came forward to share that she was supposedly assaulted by Trump on a plane many years ago. Here’s part of how she recounts the story, per the New York Times:

More than three decades ago, when she was a traveling businesswoman at a paper company, Ms. Leeds said, she sat beside Mr. Trump in the first-class cabin of a flight to New York. They had never met before.

About 45 minutes after takeoff, she recalled, Mr. Trump lifted the armrest and began to touch her.

According to Ms. Leeds, Mr. Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt.

“He was like an octopus,” she said. “His hands were everywhere.”

She fled to the back of the plane. “It was an assault,” she said.

Well, it appears that Trump campaign spokesperson Katrina Pierson can definitively prove that this never happened. How? Because first class armrests can’t be raised. Here’s what she said in a CNN interview, per Vox:

We’re talking about the early 1980s, Don, seriously? Back then you had planes — what, a DC-9, a DC-10, an MD-80, a 707, and maybe an L-1011. But she said specifically that this was to New York. This is important, so we can X-out the DC-10 and the L-1011. Guess what? First class seats have fixed armrests.

And here’s the clip:


So on one hand I’m impressed that she can name five planes that were common back then. Is Katrina Pierson actually an aviation geek, or did she research this specifically to (try to) debunk this allegation?

On the other hand, for the amount of airplane knowledge she has, she sure is off base, suggesting that since the flight was to New York it couldn’t have been a DC-10 or L-1011. Those planes certainly were flying to New York at the time.

She’s basically suggesting that since the supposed victim claimed Trump raised the armrest, and since those planes don’t have movable armrests in first class, she must be lying. I’m not sure that entire airplane history lesson was needed at all, given that virtually all US first class products don’t have movable armrests between seats, and that has mostly been the case for decades as far as I know.

So is Katrina Pierson just an aviation geek who wanted to show off, or…?

(Tip of the hat to @pir8z40)

  1. The EA Shuttle ran A300s and L1011s BOS-LGA during peak periods. Flew them many times. Savvy flyers “turned left” upon boarding, and snagged F seats for the Y shuttle fare (paid on-board!).

  2. This is a really messy election cycle. Probably best for you not to get involved in politics. “He said. She said.” is best left for other blogs.

  3. If this is anyway true, why did she not report it to flight attendant? Its a similar tale in the UK, where a footballer took upstairs a girl to his room, who was in fact with her boyfriend,? came down for breakfast, with footballer, (and her boyfriend I think) kissed footballer good bye, Then an hour later rang the newspaper to say she had been raped?

  4. I think it’s fair game to question Katrina’s remarks because she just blatantly lied trying to sully the reputation of an accuser with inaccurate information. Like presidental candidate, like campaign manager.

    Who knows maybe that woman was lying, that said the “proof” Katrina has in fact not proof and a lie.

  5. I hate Trump as much as the next guy but i’m bombarded with political ‘news’ all day from mutiple directions. Please just focus on doing what you do best, let’s hear more about Cambodia and Laos

  6. They’re just throwing out anything for their supporters to latch on to as a defense, evidence be damned. They clearly didn’t do any actual research on this.

    12 women have or will come forward, and certainly more as time goes on. Trump is toast, thank god. The national nightmare is quickly unwinding.

    I 100% believe Leeds’ story, and anyone saying she should’ve come forward immediately, probably isn’t a woman who has been sexually assaulted before in public, especially back in the 70s.

    It is apropos that the same time we have someone like Trump running, the opponent is the future first woman President of the USA.

  7. “So is Katrina Pierson just an aviation geek…?”

    Don’t know, but we do know that she did shoplift clothes from J. C. Penney. Which is really two crimes: One, shoplifting, and the other, doing it at J. C. Penney.

  8. Come to think of it I’ve never seen domestic first class seats with moveable armrests either. There’s no need because the seats are separated by a console. Besides, doesn’t a train-wreck like Trump travel on tracks anyway?

  9. I remember as a kid in the early 80s, when TWA was hubbed out of Kansas City where I grew up we were supposed to fly an L-1011 to NYC (thought it was LaGuardia but could that airport host those planes?). Sadly the pilot took too sharp a turn on the taxiways and got the wheel stuck in the mud from the rains earlier in the day. Luckily since TWA had its overhaul base across the way, they brought us another plane. But they definitely flew L-1011s to NY.

  10. I saw interview and what I found interesting is that the accuser said she was sort of OK when the hands where above waist but when he reached to her skirt she objected!!!

  11. National airlines went out of business in 1980.not 1980’s. thats 1980. the picture shown was the lounge bench. not first class seat. The other picture shows no seat belts. SURE, that is the regular first class seat. Nothing says plane safety like a lack of seatbelts. Absolute hit piece for the easily influenced crowd.

  12. Ben, you are not an aviation expert – certainly not about First Class travel before you were born.
    Other aviation experts have produced evidence that you are wrong when you make up “virtually all US first class products don’t have movable armrests between seats, and that has mostly been the case for decades as far as I know.”

  13. Lucky,

    Best to disable comments for political stories like this until at least November 9.


  14. @Nick,

    What is your point? Hilary Clinton, not Bill, is running for president. It is not a stretch to say that Bill would have had a harder time getting elected if he were running today…but he is not running today.

  15. @Anthony: according to Trump, that should be November 29th ;).

    Serious reply, and I don’t care from which side this story came from: if you want to imply that the assaulted woman was lying, find some things that are actually true.

  16. Katrina Pearson is a deplorable mouthpiece of the Trump idiot. I watched that segment last night on CNN and about fell out of my chair in disbelief.

  17. Ben, I’m going to have to support the first Alex’s comment, along w/ several others…I see and hear this all day, everyday…This blog is the first thing I read in the morning w/ my first cup of coffee…It’s a completely enjoyable way for me to start my day, taking in two of my favorite things: points info written and delivered in your style, and a great cup of coffee…Seeing this post this morning was beyond disappointing, and certainly not how I wanted to start my day…

  18. All trump supporters should be rounded up and shot dead after being tortured.

    Ps: this is just locker room talk. No one respects trump supporters more than me.

  19. Ben, there’s an expression about politics and religion, “Mixing politics and religion is like mixing manure and ice cream – it doesn’t hurt the manure but it ruins the ice cream.” ….ergo, maybe you should not ruin things around here with political posts…… just a suggestion.

  20. You get what you pay for. No education? Racist? You get Trump. I beliefe in democracy. If most citizens of the US have not enough education, are racist, etc. go for it. Get your Trump and ruin yourself – and you will for sure pay for yourself for the consquences.

    It happens quite often and Trump voters do probably not know how Google works. Like stupid Italians who got Berlusconi quite some time ago. Nobody would admit to have voted for him. Funny! LOL

  21. On the other hand throwing a piece of red meat like this will sure as hell increase the number of comments you get on your blog. No need to set up a giveaway or a prize. You will certainly not get this much activity after posting the Etihad is chnanging the amenity kits.

  22. Seating design was all over the place back in those days. I remember that you could remove the center console in F on some aircraft, which would allow you to lie down across both seats on a long haul. I remember doing that as a kid. There were also seat designs that were quick change from coach to first, a bit like Club Europe on BA now (but better).

  23. On the other hand throwing a piece of red meat like this will sure as hell increase the number of comments you get on your blog. No need to set up a giveaway or a prize. You will certainly not get this much activity after posting that Etihad is changing the amenity kits.

  24. A lot of those old seats had *removable* but not *movable* arm-rests in between the seats. Think of the recently retired Thai A300s in royal silk – you could pull out the arm rest and create a sort of love-seat situation. I’ve used that to stretch out over the two seats several times.

  25. Wow. If readers aren’t happy seeing something related to politics in this blog could they – oh, I don’t know – maybe not read the post?

  26. First. Thank you for the post and some great comments and links. I can only vaguely remember the movable armrests. It is a very appropriate post for a site frequented by airline enthusiasts.

    Also, from a political perspective, it is much more likely we will see some improvement in consumer protections under a Clinton administration. Something needs to be done about the US airline oligopoly. Also, there are important regulatory issues for hotels, such as resort fees.

  27. Ms. Leeds seems to be a very credible person. The question one might want to ask himself or herself, in the most objective way possible, is: does the accused person seem credible?

  28. Typical left wing…

    We don’t have free speech anymore. All my posts were removed… only one-sided viewpoints allowed here. I understand that most of the blogosphere votes one way, but I didn’t expect to see this kind of censorship here on this blog.

    Don’t worry Lucky – I won’t be posting any more comments on this topic or any topic for that matter.

  29. Please don’t turn your cool site into a place to express your political opinion. I don’t care for either candidate, but am really disgusted at the media bias covering only Trump’s flaws and almost zero of the many morally corrupt issues surrounding Hillary, not including those of her husband!

  30. Anyone who doesn’t know how websites work, how services are triggered and how real time communications operate and immediately thinks the system is rigged and starts off their rant with Typical “fill in who you hate” is just uninformed and maybe should take a class. Or at least ask the nearest nerd how computer thingies work otherwise you’ll think private email servers is something horrific and scary and the russians know everything including your amazon gift card codes.

    Do any facts or truths even matter in this election? One person could be lying and irrefutable facts are presented to prove they are lying and their supporters won’t even care because we have moved on to the next lie.

  31. No matter what the truth happens to be or who gets elected president in Nov or how political Lucky’s posts get, can we all agree to stop pointing TV cameras at that brainless pile of trash Katrina Pierson?

  32. Actually, in those days, before the advent of snappy electronics, you could easily remove the centre arm rest by simply pulling it out!

  33. Problem is, in America, you guys seem to have a huge litigation culture so the vutltures amongst the public will try and lie to squeeze out any money they can. But obviously the woman wasn’t lying at all… they never lie when it comes to allegations like this. Never ever ever. They never cheat either

  34. Ben, thanks for running a great blog, but I believe most of us subscribers are interested in your reviews of airline seats, itineraries, hotels, etc., and not for participating in politicized “he said, she said”. Keep it focused.

  35. @Nick

    “Don’t worry Lucky – I won’t be posting any more comments on this topic or any topic for that matter.”

    Is that a promise?

    Everyone hopes so.

  36. @ Him

    “She should call the police 30 years ago, not now.”

    Nowadays, I think that most women would report this to the crew (some would still feel intimidated to do so), but going to the police over this, 30 years ago, was not what the vast majority of women would have thought to do.

    Most women who reported the Bill Cosby’s (let’s leave Donald Trump aside for now, so we can all look at the issue in a more reasonable way) assaults only felt comfortable to do so, after others came forward. There is still a stigma attached to those charges and, for some, it is not easy to go through those complaints and reports process).

    Men are probably at a disadvantage to understand what some women go through and putting the media light on those issues certainly helps.

  37. Total Hoax other than Mr. Trump didn’t have blonde hair at the time and the raising of the arm rest is impossible the false accuser stole her “octopus” lines from another case, which was stolen from a velvet underground song.

    Then of course it comes out she has very big ties to the Clinton Foundation.

    Oh but let’s run a blog story to push a false narrative.

    I’m going to love the meltdowns when Mr. Trump is Mr. President.

  38. Billionaire around beautiful women for 40 years, no complaints.

    Billionaire runs for president and weeks before election they come out of the woodwork

    Same play done to Herman Cain.

    But trust me, this time it’s legit.

  39. Back in the ’80’s, I flew first class on Continental. As I recall, the food tray was in the arm rest. You had to pull a lever back and the tray came out. No way could the arm rest come up because the tray was stored there. This lady was probably use to flying coach and if she made up this story, that could be a reason why.

  40. @ Jill

    “No way could the arm rest come up because the tray was stored there.”

    I do remember well that you were able to remove those large arm rest blocks set up on the FC seats in some aircraft. There were no trays inside those.

  41. Ok, first let me state up front, I find both Trump and Hillary despicable human beings and will not only NOT voting for either candidate I must comment on the misinformation posted here.

    I am an FAA licensed Mechanic with over 30yrs experience working on heavy aircraft. I have seen it all.

    It is true some of the seats up front during the 1970’s were quite large and comfortable, but by the mid 1980’s those oversized and heavy as hell seats were long gone. Deregulation and fuel prices killed them. So it is highly unlikely she was on a flight that had a movable armrest.

    Second, flight crews didn’t just “move someone from coach to first class” as she discribed. In fact if empty those seats were often filled with airline employees flying standby (in those days suit and tie required) but never “free of charge” to a coach passenger. If discovered that a F/A did she would most likely be fired (we had an agent get fired for similar action).

    I don’t know, or can comment on the other allegations against Trump, although this close to election I suspect any undocumented allegations. However anyone who says the things he does, and has had more supermodel wife’s/girlfriends as he has had, obviously sees women, and thinks about them, with more lust than respect.

    So Ms. Leeds? I believe she is lying, and as such should have been dismissed by an honest press corps and an intelligent public.

    Sadly in the age of tabloid TV and plastic journalists neither occurred, we now have an election between people I would not invite into my home, let alone respect as president and commander and chief. But hey, makes for great TV right?

  42. Although a Brit, this affects me a lot and frustrates me.

    This site makes my day

    Please do not post political articles unless you are confident no rage wars will unfold

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