State senator and 7 other women accuse Trump-backed Nebraska gubernatorial candidate of fumbling

A GOP Nebraska state senator and seven other women accused Donald Trump-approved Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster groping them.

Trump hailed Herbster, who considers himself a born-again Christian, as a “strong supporter of America First.” Donald Trump Jr. accompanied Herbster on campaign stops in the state earlier this week. “You’ve seen how powerful good conservative leadership can be in the governor’s office across America,” the former president’s son said.

Herbster, owner and CEO of Conklin Company and sometimes beauty pageant judge, denied the allegations.

He is currently a frontrunner in the race for governor of Nebraska, although he has never held political office. He reportedly donated $1.3 million to Trump campaigns and attended the Jan. 6, 2021, rally outside the Capitol with members of Trump’s inner circle.

Republican State Senator Julie Slama confirmed to the Nebraska Examiner that Herbster “pulled her skirt up without her consent and touched her inappropriately.

It happened in a crowded ballroom at the Douglas County Republican Party’s annual “Elephant Remembers” dinner, according to the newspaper. The incident was first reported by a witness.

This witness and two others said they saw Herbster groping another woman during the same event.

Six other women have also since reported similar assaults. All of the incidents happened between 2017 and this year, according to the examiner, who corroborated six of the eight reports with witness testimony.

The former mayor of Omaha reportedly asked in response to accusations that he wanted to put Slama on the witness stand and ask her what she was wearing when she was groped.

In a tweet Thursday, Herbster called the accusations “defamatory fake news,” adding, “I have respected and empowered women to run my business, my farm and now my campaign.

Nebraska’s 13 state senators, including five Republicans, released a statement Thursday acknowledging the “highly credible and substantiated allegations.”

“We commend the brave women who have come forward to speak the truth about what they endured at the hands of Charles Herbster, including our friend and colleague, Senator Julie Slama,” the statement read.

“Sexual assault is despicable and harmful,” the statement added. “It’s not a matter of politics – it’s a matter of character and basic human decency.” Herbster’s actions “make him unfit to serve,” the statement concluded.

Under Nebraska state law, touching a person inappropriately without their consent outside of their clothing constitutes third-degree sexual assault.

Critics on Twitter predicted that the allegations against Herbster will not faze Trump or shake his approval. Trump has been accused by dozens of women of sexual misconduct. He was also recorded bragging about “grabbing” women “by the pussy”.


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