Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump rebuffed political aides’ requests to research his past, people familiar with the matter said, a decision that contributed to his campaign being caught unprepared for the past week’s barrage of claims he mistreated women.
Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s first campaign manager, requested that Trump submit himself to a forensic evaluation that is traditional for any public figure seeking office, according to people granted anonymity to speak freely about the campaign’s start-up days last year. Opposition research would allow Trump’s new political team to prepare for potential attacks on his candidacy.
Paul Manafort and his team made a similar request when they took over the reins after Lewandowski, who was ousted this June.
Trump declined, the people said, and the issue became a point of contention among his closest political advisers and some long-time employees at the Trump Organization. Trump spokespeople Jason Miller and Hope Hicks didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Now, Trump is fighting an onslaught of scrutiny of his behavior toward women, less than one month before voters cast final judgment on him and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Some of the scrutiny is a result of Trump’s own words, including in a 2005 video that surfaced Friday where he bragged about being able to do “anything” to women because of his fame.
Both the New York Times and People magazine reported fresh allegations Wednesday from women who say Trump touched them inappropriately, without their consent. The candidate has flatly denied all accusations, tweeting that the incidents never happened.