George H.W. Bush accused of groping woman while in office

Published: Friday, November 17, 2017 @ 9:51 AM

Biography of George H.W. Bush

A woman on Thursday said President George H.W. Bush groped her during a photo-op in 1992, while he was still in office, becoming the latest in a string of women who have made similar accusations against him.

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The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told CNN that she was in Dearborn, Michigan, attending a fundraiser for Bush’s re-election campaign when the president groped her buttocks.

“We got closer for a family photo and it was like, ‘Holy (expletive)!’” she told the news network. “It was like a gentle squeeze.”

At least eight other women have accused Bush of grabbing them during photo-ops, although Thursday’s accusation was the first alleged to have happened while the former president was in office.

"All the focus has been on 'He's old.' OK, but he wasn't old when it happened to me," the latest accuser told CNN. "I've been debating what to do about it."

The president apologized last month in a statement through his spokesman, Jim McGrath, after actress Heather Lind accused Bush of groping her during a 2014 photo-op in a since-deleted Instagram post.

>> Related: George H.W. Bush apologizes after actress Heather Lind accuses him of sexual assault

“At age 93, President Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for roughly five years, so his arm falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures,” McGrath said. “To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke -- and on occasion, he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner. Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate. To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely.”

Previous accusations

Lind, who plays Anna Strong in AMC’s “Turn: Washington’s Spies,” said the president told a dirty joke and grabbed her rear end while taking a photo. She said that first lady Barbara Bush saw her husband groping Lind and just rolled her eyes.

Shortly after Lind went public with her accusation, actress Jordana Grolnick told Deadspin that she was groped by Bush during a photo-op in August 2016.

>> Related: George H.W. Bush apologizes, says he 'patted women's rears' after 2nd groping allegation

“We all circled around him and Barbara for a photo, and I was right next to him,” Grolnick told Deadspin. “He reached his right hand around to my behind, and as we smiled for the photo he asked the group, ‘Do you want to know who my favorite magician is?’ As I felt his hand dig into my flesh, he said, ‘David Cop-a-Feel!’”

Author Christina Baker Kline said Bush made a similar joke to her in 2014 when he groped her during a photo-op at a luncheon in Houston. She wrote about the incident in an article for Slate.

In a Facebook post, former journalist Liz Allen accused Bush of inappropriately touching her during a 2004 business event. She told the Erie Times-News that she wasn’t happy about the incident but that, “It did not rise to the level of assault … it was in my (personal) space.”

Former Republican state Senate candidate Amanda Staples said in an Instagram post that she was groped by Bush during a 2006 photo-op, the Portland Press Herald reported. She said Bush “grabbed my butt and joked saying, ‘Oh, I’m not THAT President.’”

Another woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told CNN that Bush squeezed her rear “a couple times” during a 2015 event in Houston.

"It was unmistakable," she told the news network. "It was not just a pat. It was a serious squeeze."

Broadway actress Megan Elizabeth Lewis told NJ Advance Media this week that she was groped by Bush in 2009 while taking a photo at a performance of “Legally Blond: The Musical” in Houston.

“I was like, ‘wow,’” she told the news site. “I remember being really grossed out.”

Roslyn Corrigan told Time magazine that she was 16 years old when Bush, then 79, groped her in 2003 during an event in Texas.

“My initial reaction was absolute horror. I was really, really confused,” Corrigan told Time. “The first thing I did was look at my mom and, while he was still standing there, I didn’t say anything. What does a teenager say to the ex-president of the United States? Like, ‘Hey dude, you shouldn’t have touched me like that?’”

Bush, 93, served as president from 1989 to 1993. He was vice president under President Ronald Reagan before his election to the highest office in the nation, from 1981 to 1989.

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Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, in labor with royal baby

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 3:51 AM
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 3:51 AM

Third Child Coming for Prince William, Kate Middleton

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, formerly known as Kate Middleton, was admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital in London and is in the “early stages of labor,” Kensington Palace tweeted Monday.

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Walmart shooting: Man killed in front of bystanders, including kids, outside Arkansas store

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 5:34 AM

File photo of a Walmart sign.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson/Getty Images
File photo of a Walmart sign. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)(Scott Olson/Getty Images)

A man reportedly was shot and killed Sunday night outside an Arkansas Walmart as bystanders, including kids, looked on.

>> Waffle House shooting: 4 dead after nude gunman opens fire in Tennessee; victims identified

According to KAIT, police said the slaying began as a domestic dispute at the front of the store in Trumann about 9:15 p.m. CDT. Police arrived and negotiated with an armed man who walked out of the store with a woman. The man then shot and killed a second man who "tried to intervene," KAIT reported. The armed man eventually surrendered to police and was arrested.

Police did not release the names of the people involved in the incident, but officers said the slain man was likely connected to the woman and armed man.

>> Read more trending news 

Dozens of shoppers were nearby when the man was shot, police said.

"A lot of people witnessed something tonight that they should have never seen," Trumann police Chief Chad Henson told KAIT. "We're going to have to go through a lot of healing from here on out. It was just a terrible day."

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Police use anti-KKK law to arrest people protesting neo-Nazis

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 2:44 AM

Counterprotesters are held by law enforcement officers as the National Socialist Movement holds a rally at Greenville Street Park in downtown Newnan on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The far-right hate group also drew anti-fascist demonstrators as well as hundreds of police officers. (HYOSUB SHIN / AJC)
HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Counterprotesters are held by law enforcement officers as the National Socialist Movement holds a rally at Greenville Street Park in downtown Newnan on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The far-right hate group also drew anti-fascist demonstrators as well as hundreds of police officers. (HYOSUB SHIN / AJC)(HYOSUB SHIN / AJC)

Faced with hundreds of demonstrators rallying against a crowd of neo-Nazis in Newnan, Georgia, authorities turned to a little-known Georgia law adopted in 1951 to combat the Ku Klux Klan.

>> Tension, arrests at neo-Nazi rally in metro Atlanta

The law, which makes it illegal to wear a mask at most public events, was cited in several of the arrests of counterdemonstrators who joined a protest Saturday against white supremacists.

And the irony was not lost upon the organizers of the counterdemonstration, who were fuming Sunday that a law aimed at weakening white supremacists was used to arrest protesters who opposed a neo-Nazi rally.

“They were trying to stop us, and we were trying to dial down the racist stuff,” said Jeremy Ortega, a 19-year-old who was among the counterprotesters charged with a misdemeanor for wearing a mask.

He said many of the demonstrators wore masks to avoid being identified and threatened by white power groups.

“We were peacefully protesting, yet they put guns in our faces and told us to take our masks off,” said Ortega, who added that he is considering filing a civil lawsuit. “It made no sense.”

State and local authorities did not comment on specific allegations of abuse on Sunday. But Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan said the overwhelming security – nearly 700 law enforcement officers were on hand – helped prevent the clashes from escalating.

“Making arrests in a volatile situation is never going to be pretty,” Keenan said.

No one from the white supremacist group was arrested on Saturday, and they largely avoided confrontations with police or the counterdemonstration group. The two dozen white supremacists who attended the rally were separated from the group by an 8-foot fence – and hundreds of armed officers.

‘Remove your mask’

On Sunday, a coalition of counterprotest groups planned a vigil at the Coweta County Jail to criticize what they said was excessive violence by police.

The Huffington Post reported that a contingent of officers approached a group of 50 counterdemonstrators before the rally and demanded they remove their masks or face arrests. The news outlet wrote that officers then “grabbed those who were still masked, tossing them to the ground and handcuffing them.”

A video posted on social media by freelance journalist Daniel Shular appeared to show authorities scuffling with counterdemonstrators. Authorities demanded that the counterprotesters remove their masks, and the footage showed an officer raising his rifle at demonstrators.

“Remove your mask, or you will be arrested,” said an officer in the video, which shows a ring of demonstrators standing with their hands raised aloft. Several are chanting “hands up, don’t shoot.”

A counterprotester kneels with his hands up in front of law enforcement officers during a neo-Nazi rally at Greenville Street Park in downtown Newnan on Saturday, April 21, 2018. (HYOSUB SHIN / AJC)(HYOSUB SHIN / AJC)

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter who attempted to report on the confrontation during the rally was obstructed by authorities.

Several other counterdemonstrators faced violations that have nothing to do with the anti-mask law.

Daniel Hanley was charged with obstruction of a pedestrian roadway after he said he nonviolently resisted a police officer who confronted him. He said he believes he was arrested because he was wielding a megaphone and leading chants against the white supremacists.

“They were trying to find any pretext to shut us down,” Hanley, 36, said of the authorities. “The moment we stepped foot there, they intimated us and strategically tried to target people.”

‘Absolutely satisfied’

State law bans the wearing of masks, hoods or other devices that conceal a person’s identity if they’re on public property or on private property where the owner has not consented. It includes exceptions for holidays, theatrical productions, civil emergencies and sporting events.

The laws have been adopted by about a dozen states, most aimed at weakening the KKK in the middle of the 20th century. The Georgia Supreme Court in 1990 upheld the state’s ban after a Klansman donned a hood on the Lawrenceville Square, citing his First Amendment rights.

The law has mostly been used to target KKK demonstrations, though it has also been employed before to arrest demonstrators who are objecting to white power groups. At a 2016 rally, the law was used to arrest eight demonstrators protesting a white supremacist rally at Stone Mountain Park.

Barricades and fencing are in place around a city park in Newnan as police prepared for Saturday's rally by a neo-Nazi group on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The neo-Nazis expected a turnout of 50 to 100, but only a couple dozen showed up. They were well outnumbered by counterprotesters and law enforcement officers. (HYOSUB SHIN / AJC)(HYOSUB SHIN / AJC)

In a strange turn, it also was invoked ahead of a press conference last year at the Gold Dome, when supporters of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle threatened to hire performers in circus masks to interrupt a rival’s event. The clowns never showed up.

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Authorities said they were intent on enforcing that law and others as they studied how law enforcement officials handled white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017 to prepare for the Newnan event.

In Charlottesville, officers remained largely passive as bloody clashes raged around them, and the event soon spiraled out of control. One person was killed and dozens more were injured in the violence.

“You have to have adequate resources and the intent to enforce the law,” Keenan said. “We had both.”

He said officers made clear to both groups that masks and some weapons were not allowed. He said authorities found an abandoned backpack with smoke bombs at one checkpoint. State law allows demonstrators to carry firearms if they are licensed; on Saturday, several were spotted sporting firearms.

“We maintained security. We would not let there be disorder. We didn’t have civil disorder, property damage. And we had just a few arrests,” Keenan said. “We are absolutely satisfied.”

MORE COVERAGE FROM AJC.COM: 

>> Reports from Newnan as the rally and counterprotest were underway

>> How social media reacted

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Where is Travis Reinking? Search continues for Waffle House shooting suspect

Published: Monday, April 23, 2018 @ 1:25 AM

Waffle House Shooting: Who is Travis Reinking

A massive hunt to capture the man wanted in connection with the shooting deaths of four people at a Waffle House in Antioch, Tennessee, outside Nashville, continues.

>> Watch the news report here

>> Waffle House shooting: 4 dead after nude gunman opens fire in Tennessee; victims identified

Travis Reinking, 29, is now on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's Top 10 Most Wanted List, and law enforcement said he is armed, dangerous and hiding, WHBQ's Greg Coy reports

>> Who is Travis Reinking, the person of interest in the Waffle House shooting?

Police said Reinking returned to his apartment after opening fire at the Waffle House. Reinking, who reportedly was nude at the time of the shooting, put on pants and then ran into the woods, police said.

>> Waffle House 'hero' disarmed shooter, tossed rifle over counter

Neighbor Johnny Green said another neighbor noticed Reinking and called police. 

>> Who is James Shaw Jr., the man who disarmed the Waffle House shooter?

"My mom saw him," Green added. Coy asked, "What did she say about him?" "He just seemed weird," Green replied

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Police said they hope the rain and cooler temperatures will draw Reinking out of hiding. Police said Reinking's options are limited because the crime and social media attention have made him an international fugitive.

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