Herman Cain called the accusations of sexual harassment against him “a witch hunt” and said he had been falsely accused while the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.
Declaring at the National Press Club that he “would be delighted to clear the air,” Mr. Cain said that he was unaware of any settlements paid to his accusers – an assertion he appeared to contradict in an interview later in the day.
“It was concluded after a thorough investigation that it had no basis,” Mr. Cain said to questions by Mark Hamrick, the president of the press club after Politico first reported on the allegations. “I am unaware of any settlement. I hope it wasn’t for much, because I didn’t do anything.” But later, in an interview with Greta Van Susteren on her Fox News show, “On the Record,” he said “there was some sort of settlement or termination” but “no big settlement.”
In the press club remarks, Mr. Cain said that he had “recused myself” during the investigation into the charges made by the women. He derided the report in Politico as being based on “anonymous sources.”
“We are not going to chase anonymous sources, when there are no basis for the accusation,” Mr. Cain said. “I have never sexually harassed anyone and those accusations are totally false.”
Mr. Cain was only asked a handful of questions about the accusations against him after the press club appearance. Mr. Hamrick quickly moved on to questions about the candidate’s tax plan and his reasons for running.
Asked to sing at the end of his talk to the press club, Mr. Cain agreed, singing a few stanzas from “He Looked Beyond My Faults,” and explaining that it would help explain his faith and the “journey” that he and the country are on.
“For it was grace that brought me liberty,” Mr. Cain sang. “I’ll never know why Jesus came to love me so. He looked beyond all my faults and saw my needs.”