02:14 - Source: CNN
Pierson: Armrests debunk NYT Trump groping story

Story highlights

Katrina Pierson says the New York Times report is false because the first class seats had fixed armrests

CNN has not independently verified Leeds' account

CNN  — 

Donald Trump’s campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson explained Wednesday why she does not believe Jessica Leeds’ story reported by the New York Times that Donald Trump touched her inappropriately during a first class flight more than 30 years ago.

“We’re talking about the early 1980’s,” Pierson said on “CNN Tonight with Don Lemon.” “First class seats have fixed armrests. So what I can tell you if she was groped on a plane, it wasn’t by Donald Trump and it certainly wasn’t in first class.”

Leeds’ told the New York Times that when sitting next to Trump during a first class flight, Trump lifted the armrest, moved toward her, and then began to grope her.

CNN has not yet independently confirmed The New York Times report.

RELATED: Trump faces more groping allegations

While modern first class seating on US carriers have fixed armrests as a built-in beverage tray, several airlines – including the long-defunct Braniff Airways – featured first class seats in the 1970s and 1980s that had a movable armrest that folded down between the window and aisle seats.