Fourth woman accuses President George H.W. Bush of groping in photo op

(NEWS CENTER) -- A former Republican state Senate candidate from Maine came forward with groping allegations against President George H.W. Bush Friday.

In an Instagram post that was also posted to Facebook, Amanda Staples outlined a photo op she had with the president in 2006 at the Bush Compound in Kennebunk.

"In my photo op at Walker Point with President Bush, he talked to me about helping to lower his taxes if I became his State Senator in 2006. He grabbed my butt and joked saying, 'Oh, I'm not THAT President.'"

"I rationalized it in my mind that he had become a dirty old man in his later years. As I left the estate, I called and left a voicemail for my Dad about it. He didn't think it was funny. I've thought about this and if I had a daughter, I'd never tell her to shrug it off because he was President."

"I can only imagine how many women have had their butt grabbed in a photo op. Certainly this hasn't left me jaded or damaged but it has made me think about the abuse of power. #handsoff"

Staples is the fourth woman to accuse Bush of groping while taking a picture. Actresses Heather Lind, Jordana Grolnick and bestselling author Christina Baker Kline stepped forward with their stories this week.

On Wednesday evening, George H.W. Bush's office released the following statement:

"At age 93, President Bush has been confined to a wheelchair for roughly five years, so his arm falls on the lower waist of people with whom he takes pictures. To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke - and on occasion, he has patted women's rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner. Some have seen it as innocent; others clearly view it as inappropriate. To anyone he has offended, President Bush apologizes most sincerely."

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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