Hosting his first press conference since facing accusations of sexual harassment last week, Herman Cain vehemently denied all of the allegations, adding that he has no recollection of ever meeting his accuser Sharon Bialek.
“I have never acted inappropriately with anyone. Period,” Cain said. “I saw Ms. Allred and her client yesterday in that news conference for the very first time. My first reaction was I don’t even know who this person is. I tried to remember if I recognised her and I didn’t.”
But he walked the statement back later, though, saying that there was a “remote” possibility he just doesn’t remember Bialek.
Cain blamed the “the Democratic machine” for stirring up the story, and bringing “forth a troubled woman to make false accusations,” apparently referring to Bialek, the first woman to publicly step forward.
Cain later admitted that he could not say whether there was a conspiracy:
“We don’t have any definitive, factual proof” of a conspiracy, Cain said, adding that there are “coincidences” that indicate someone might be deliberately trying to destroy his campaign.
When asked about Karen Kraushaar, the former National Restaurant Association employee who settled a sexual harassment claim against Cain, he said that he was not involved in that settlement, and that they did not interact on a regular basis.
He repeated that Kraushaar, who is now employeed at the U.S. Treasury Department, remains the only woman who he remembers as having accused him of sexual harassment. He repeated that the only incident with Kraushaar he was aware of was when he gestured that she was “the same height as my wife”
Kraushaar, whose name was revealed by The Daily today, told the New York Times this afternoon that she plans to speak publicly about the accusations in the near future. She floated the idea of a joint press conference with the other as yet unnamed women who were victims of Cain’s alleged assault.
He said that there are likely other women who will come forward with false accusations because of his long career.
He said later that he would be willing to take a lie detecter test to prove his innocence, but only if there was a “good reason” to take one.
“Sexual harassment is a very serious matter. I find the accusations disturbing but false,” Cain said. “They are disturbing because they are false.”
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