Armrests Used to Move in First Class (Donald Trump Sexual Assault Defense Debunked)

Jessica Leeds claimed that in the early 1980s she was on a flight to New York and was upgraded into an empty first class seat next to Donald Trump. She says Trump lifted the armrest and began to touch her inappropriately (“He was like an octopus”).

Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson went on television and invoked ‘the aviation defense’ where she just starts naming older aircraft models. Bizarrely she suggests that L-1011s and DC-10s didn’t fly to New York, so we don’t have to look at those aircraft. And first class armrests don’t move.

Put another way…

Now I didn’t start flying first class regularly until the mid- to late-90s. I grew up in New York in the 70s and 80s, and flew frequently, but always in coach. (My earliest memory is of a car service to the airport before a TWA flight.)

However @ParkeBench went on a tweetstorm.

With proof that there were L-1011s and DC-10s with movable armrests, Pierson’s argument rests entirely on the notion that neither aircraft type served the New York market.

Except that the original L-1011 concept came out of discussions between American Airlines and Lockheed for a plane that would fly transatlantic from New York (and Dallas) and the inaugural commercial flight of the L-1011 was Eastern Airlines Miami – New York. TWA had significant New York operations with L-1011s and even had a famous crash, flight 843 to San Francisco, where all passengers were safely evacuated but the plane was lost to fire.

And while we’re on the subject of out of left field theories, here’s a report of a DC-10 spotting a UFO over… New York.

We rate Pierson’s argument false.

(HT: @pir8z40)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Who gives a fuck ?Did he get anyone killed?Did he commit treason? This is not about his sex life.It’s about saving our country you bunch of libtards!

  2. There were certainly armrests in the forward cabin that could go up. But even if armrests are down, sexual assault — and this involves allegations of sexual assault committed by Donald Trump — in-flight is not impossible. Arms need to be very long and hands need not be very big or small for a sexual assault on the groin area to be committed by a neighboring passenger.

    Whether or not Donald Trump has committed sexual assault, he’s still obnoxious in a way that’s unique in the history of nominated major party candidates for US President. Only Andrew Jackson would even have a chance to come close, and he’d lose on the potty-mouthed front.

    Donald Trump may be better qualified to be Howard Stern’s substitute, but he is poorly qualified to be President of the United States of America.

    Who really wants a US President that thought it’s ok to grab women by the groin regardless of consent? Even the TSA won’t speak this way about grabbing women, even as the TSA touching is all about touching passengers until the TSA meets “resistance”. “Resistance” being the groin area.

  3. Donald Trump has never committed any type of Sexual Assault. Know how I know? Because I went to Law School and the income potential of such an act alone precludes any reasonable person from concluding that any of these stories are true.

    There is a court system in the U.S. and you don’t have to be an attorney to participate in it. All you have to do is walk into the office of any attorney and tell this story at any time.

    And even if no actual litigation was filed there would be a record.

    This is all made up nonsense. Pretty much like most of the policies of the last 8 years.

  4. Who wants a president who funds their entire Ad campaign selling Tanks to Despotic Regimes that not only Oppress women but where Rape is LEGAL.

    Where women are stoned to this day. You are fools if you believe their nonsense.

    They sold millions of dollars of US built Tanks to pay for all those commercials they are using right now to lead you around by the nose.

  5. I’ll remind GUWonder that the job of the President and executive branch is to enforce laws, not sound polished, and that many presidents have had question judgment, and affairs.

    Fine, to think otherwise, but is it really any more disqualifying? OR does it just fit a narrative that ones own political interests? I’ve not been a big Trump fan, but the increasing propaganda against him has made me become suspicious of the machine, and increased my fervor for someone counter to establishment politics. Here’s a nice summary of Trumpian ideas from Politico.

    (6) Trump ideas: (1) borders matter; (2) immigration policy matters; (3) national interests, not so-called universal interests, matter; (4) entrepreneurship matters; (5) decentralization matters; (6) PC speech—without which identity politics is
    inconceivable—must be repudiated.

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/09/donald-trump-ideas-2016-214244

  6. I agree with Ms. Flowers-private citizen (male) or (woman) who cares what he did short of raping a woman or man-did Trump comment treason-have a server in his basement that had American’s top secrets on it-and it is about saving our country from Obama/and the liar of Benghazi-did you know that Hillary said I don’t recall 59 times when questioned my Ken Star when her her President Bill Clinton was impeached-39 times when the FBI questioned her at her home with Mills there-and again 20 times when she just answered questions that the conservative group and a Federal Judge made her answer-LOCK HER UP!!!!

  7. Trump did not commit adultry. No sexual final act like wjc. And yes wjc is running with his wife because she said herself that he would be included in her administration. He is running and therefore subject to remarks about his sexual character.

  8. Let me ask you– do you really think any woman, especially someone of means, is going to sit there and not say anything if a stranger reaches up under her dress on a plane??? Are you KIDDING ME?? They’ll IMMEDIATELY make a federal case out of it!! Not hold onto it, just in case in 35 years, the person who’s grabbing your crotch might be running for president and you can ruin their chances by coming out 3 weeks before the election with it.

    IF YOU BELIEVE THIS, YOU, SIR, ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM!!

  9. Where did you go to law school and where do you live?? Are you serious? Or are you being sarcastic? Maybe sarcastic. We have proven that the wealthiest among us do indeed victimize those who have less. If you want to know why they would behave so recklessly there is a large body of research on the subject readily available. I have seen it and I have even had someone attempt to do it to me. Actually, you don’t have to do any research at all. Just listen to Trump explain it in the recording of him discussing why he would sexually assault a woman. He believes that because of who he is, women will allow him to touch them as he pleases. He does not see touching a woman without her permission as sexual assault. He does not see this as wrong. He actually feels that when women deny him and reject him, that they have wronged him. To him they have denied him of something he has a right to. He does not see that the other person has a right not to be touched.

  10. Somebody please tell us WHY would drump even try to change the establishment system that he has used for decades to enrich himself and his spawn. As a member of the elite class that has a record of nothing but using and abusing little people, WHY would he now want to change his spots and enact any policies that will hurt his financial empire. Only fools would believe he cares for anybody but himself.

  11. Somebody please tell us WHY would drump even try to change the establishment system that he has used for decades to enrich himself and his spawn. As a member of the elite class that has a record of nothing but using and abusing little people, WHY would he now want to change his spots and enact any policies that will hurt his financial empire. Only fools would believe he cares for anybody but himself.

  12. Margaret Flowers…would you, “give a fuck” if it were your daughter, grand daughter, mother or god forbid, you???

  13. Trump did not commit adultery? He was having a public affair with Marla Maples while he was still married to Ivana! For that matter he also started sleeping with Melania while he still married to Marla.

  14. Hang on, Gary….

    You’re aware that Ms. Leeds was made to “look like” Goofy Elizabeth Warren, the NYT’s video is doctored to show propaganda camera angles, and Ms. Leeds claims she didn’t care that her breasts were touched. It was when he became Octopussy under her skirt.

    You know she’s lying and the NYT with Ben Rhodes’ brother in the executive board is behind this. You’re support for Crooked Hillary may certainly limit your Russia Today (RT) TV appearances, Gary. That won’t be good, given the hot girls that work there.

  15. @pja

    If you watch the fake video, you putz, you’ll see that Ms. Leeds admits she didn’t care that her breasts were touched. Again, liberalism is a mental disorder.

  16. @Gary Russell, Not tremendous evidence that Trump will change establishment politics — we’ve already seen that Obama didn’t, and he was more outsider than Hillary — BUT, there’s a chance. And the alternative is … Hillary, which we *know* won’t. She IS establishment politics. The worst kind. I guess if you wanted a Dem (or a decent human being) to do it, then it’s too bad Sanders didn’t make the cut (or should I say the shutdown by the Hillary mafia). He’s not my cup of tea, but he certainly wouldn’t go from 0 to $200 million while serving the public.

  17. @Ed, Hillary didn’t make her millions while in office. Sanders has not even tried to say he was cheated out by the Hillary mafia or any mafia. He lost out by millions & millions of votes. There was never even any evidence that the e-mail suggestion was ever acted upon. drump is an elite of the elite who has bragged about being in bed with the establishment and buying politicians and when he calls them up, they kiss his ass and we know he uses his slush fund foundation to bribe politicians like he did with Bondi. drump has his hands in too many pies here and around the world and there is no way he could operate without enriching himself as enriching himself has been his only modus operandi.

  18. I grew up in an airline family; my dad worked for Braniff more than 20 years. The one thing that caught my attention in Jessica Leeds story was the flight attendant giving her an upgrade to First Class just because a seat was empty in the section.
    1 – Almost all flights had empty seats in first class even when coach was packed like sardines.
    2 – Giving a coach passenger a free upgrade is a good way to make all of the other coach passengers really furious over feeling cheated, so it has always been against policy. If one attendant did it the others would report it because they would have spent the whole flight with a coach section full of irate passengers. That flight attendant would have been fired for the violation.

  19. @margaret Umm sexual assault isn’t someone’s sex life. Its a crime. I don’t like reading about politics on this website.

  20. Regardless of how trump talked with billy bush if anyone was paying attention instead of buying into the Clinton machine destroy tactics…you would have noticed that when trump got off the bus he treated the woman with respect and decency so no I don’t believe a word of these so called claims…having the public persona that he has we would have heard about it years ago…..this is dirty politics attack and distract at it’s worse and get even for bringing the woman Bill attacked to the debate…

  21. Ya know, unless you know which airline, and specific aircraft (because similar aircraft in the same class may be configured differently) the alleged interaction may have occurrd on, your crack research was a wasted effort, not to mention a waste of your readers time.

  22. To Margaret flowers-
    Trump is a foul mouthed, misogynistic pig who doesn’t even have the support of his own party! You must be another ignorant, uneducated “trump tramp” who seems to be the base of his supporters. What a joke!!

  23. This is a bunch of nonsense, have family that was both a pilot back then a my aunt his wife that was a stewardess, they both laughed when they saw these seats, said there is no way they would have been on first class, they all had sleeper chairs in them, each had a unmovable armrest so the person next to you would not have to deal with you turning over in your sleep and trying to get close to them. Google actual first class pics from the day, this is pure garbage.
    http://www.star-telegram.com/news/business/aviation/sky-talk-blog/1od6lt/picture70602252/ALTERNATES/FREE_640/American%20historical004
    http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/04/17/article-0-1D293E4E00000578-746_974x1212.jpg
    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/114771490476467127/
    There are enough things to yell about Trump, to resort to this misinformation and outright lies, this takes away from any merit you may have had in your argument.

  24. That’s cool. Now debunk the stewardesses who came forward (who must he certified on each aircraft they fly) saying armrests on various 7×7 models as well as others were stationary. That isn’t to say they all were stationary, just the alleged models. On top of that, debunk the witness who has now come forward saying he sat directly across.from them and Ms Leeds was actually coming onto Trump but he was rebuffing her.

  25. You know IF it had been put out there that Trump loved grabbing boobs every one of these women would be saying that he reached under their blouse and squeezed their boobs, but since that video came out of him and Billy Bush talking about P&%$$*’s, everyone’s now accusing him of reaching under their skirts and grabbing their snatch!!! Where were these women when Trump first started running against all the other candidates? I was for Rubio and would have loved to seen this when my candidate had a chance to maybe win……This is all made up to help Hilary and if you fools can’t see that than you all are stupid as hell. I don’t give two shits for Trump but nothing galls me more than seeing the media make fools out of the American people.

  26. Well it looks like Hillary has this thing locked up so no reason to stand in line in November just to vote for her.

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