Cain Denies Harassment Allegations in TV Interviews
8:53 PM, Oct 31, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
In two television interviews taped for Monday evening, Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain denied any wrongdoing as he tried to clarify his story about the allegations he was accused of sexual harassment while serving as president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s. In these interviews, Cain was more forthcoming yet still vague about the details surrounding the allegations than he and his campaign had previously been since the story broke Sunday evening.
Byron York reports on what Cain told Fox News Channel's Greta van Susteren:
This lines up with much of what Cain also told Judy Woodruff of PBS, including the recounting of the "chin" incident. He also spoke to Woodruff about the nature of the settlement:
Cain told van Susteren that the settlement with one woman was "in the five-figure range" and also "maybe three months' salary."
Cain's answers Monday night are much more detailed than the denials he and his campaign had been making since Politico published the original story Sunday night. Campaign spokesman J. D. Gordon called the charges made in the story "unsubstantiated personal attacks," "thinly sourced allegations," and "rumors that never stood up to the facts." Cain himself refrained from commenting on Sunday after one of the Politico reporters, Jonathan Martin, asked him about the allegations outside of CBS's Washington studios.
On Monday morning, Cain appeared at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington to discuss his 9-9-9 tax plan. Although a question from ABC's Jonathan Karl about the harassment allegations, Cain did not respond. At the same time, campaign chief of staff Mark Block appeared on MSNBC and denied the allegation, saying Cain "never sexually harassed anybody."
Shortly after his event at AEI, Cain appeared on Fox News to deny the charges. "I have never sexually harassed anyone," he said, while also admitting for the first time since the story broke that he had been accused of sexual harassment in the past.
"I was falsely accused while I was at the National Restaurant Association," Cain said. "It turned out after the investigation to be baseless." He reiterated this point while speaking at a lunch at the National Press Club in Washington this afternoon. "There is nothing else to dig up," he said, also saying he did not know about the supposed settlements the association had made with the accusers.
Cain's TV interviews tonight show that, at best, he was not informed of the settlements until appearing or, at worst, he lied about not knowing about the settlements before his interviews with van Susteren and Woodruff.