(WWJ) – A Michigan woman is the latest accuser to come forward with a groping claim againt former President H.W. Bush. This time, the alleged inappropriate incident occurred while he was in office.
Speaking exclusively with CNN, the 55-year-old woman said she was in Dearborn, Michigan, attending a fundraiser for Bush’s 1992 re-election campaign with her father when the president grabbed her buttocks during a photo-op.
“We got closer together for a family photo and it was like ‘Holy crap!'” she told CNN. “It was like a gentle squeeze.”
In the moment, the woman said, she just smiled for the camera and told herself that it was likely an accident. However, recent similar groping allegations against the now elderly ex-president made her rethink what happened. “All the focus has been on ‘He’s old.’ OK, but he wasn’t old when it happened to me,” she told CNN. “I’ve been debating what to do about it.”
The woman asked CNN not to publish her name because, she said, she wanted to avoid media attention.
While the woman said she doesn’t believe that anyone else noticed what Bush allegedly did, CNN has spoken with the woman’s ex-husband and her best friend, both of whom she told of the incident soon after it occurred.
This comes after a handful of other women have come forward saying Bush grabbed their rear ends in a similar manner, most in the last few years, some of them saying the ex-POTUS first made a joke referencing “David Cop-a-Feel.”
In response to the allegations reported last month, Bush spokesman Jim McGrath issued a statement citing the former president’s age and physical condition.
“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 wrote. “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.”
CNN said McGrath declined to comment on this latest allegation.