U.S. President Donald Trump steps from Air Force One for a visit to the Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Mississippi, U.S., December 9, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque(reuters_tickers)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he did not know the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct and alleged their claims were a political attack pushed by Democrats, rejecting renewed calls to look into his behaviour.
His comments come one day after the White House said it had eyewitnesses who would clear him of any suspicion of wrongdoing amid the allegations, which surfaced during the 2016 presidential campaign.
On Monday, three women who had previously accused Trump of misconduct called on the U.S. Congress to investigate the president's behaviour. Trump has denied the allegations and the White House has said the women were lying.
Some 50 female Democratic lawmakers also called for an investigation.
More than a dozen women have accused the real estate developer and former reality television star of making unwanted sexual advances against them years before he entered politics. Reuters has not independently verified the accusations against Trump.
"Despite thousands of hours wasted and many millions of dollars spent, the Democrats have been unable to show any collusion with Russia - so now they are moving on to the false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don’t know and/or have never met. FAKE NEWS!" Trump said on Twitter, citing an ongoing probe into alleged Russia meddling during the 2016 election and possible collusion by his campaign.
He also attacked Democratic U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who on Monday said Trump should resign due to the allegations, following similar calls by four other male Democratic Senators in recent days.
"You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office," Gillibrand wrote on Twitter.
Their call comes after fellow Democrat Senator Al Franken, under pressure from his party, announced his resignation following allegations of improper conduct.
Two other lawmakers in the House of Representatives, one Democrat and one Republican, have also stepped down amid sexual harassment accusations. Reuters had not independently verified the claims against them.
The White House on Monday said the women's accusations were false and "totally disputed in most cases by eyewitness accounts." White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders later told reporters she could provide a list of the eyewitness accounts.
Representatives for the White House did not respond to a request for comment and a copy of the list on Tuesday.
Many of Trump's accusers came forward after a tape surfaced one month before the November 2016 election in which Trump was heard bragging in 2005 about groping and forcibly kissing women.
Trump later publicly apologised for the remarks but called them private "locker-room talk" and said that he had not done the things that he had described.
(Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Alden Bentley)