Serious allegations emerged Wednesday against presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his conduct toward employees at the Mar-a-Lago Golf Club and Resort.
According to Buzzfeed.com, campaign personnel have flatly dismissed the charges as untrue, but at least six former Mar-a-Lago employees have corroborated the story.
Donald Trump, they said, had a special phone console by his bed at the 126-room Palm Beach mansion that allowed him to eavesdrop on every phone extension on the estate.
Four of the employees -- who spoke to BuzzFeed anonymously due to nondisclosure agreements -- said that the erstwhile reality TV star frequently listened in on private conversations during the mid-2000s.
"They said he listened in on calls between club employees or, in some cases, between staff and guests," wrote BuzzFeed's Adam Roston. "None of them knew of Trump eavesdropping on guests or members talking on private calls with people who were not employees of Mar-a-Lago. They also said that Trump could eavesdrop only on calls made on the club’s landlines and not on calls made from guests’ cell phones. Each of these four sources said they personally saw the telephone console, which some referred to as a switchboard, in Trump’s bedroom."
One source explained that many on the staff were aware that Trump monitored their calls after he called them on separate lines during their calls to discuss the contents of their private conversations.
“There is no other way you could know what that conversation was about unless you were eavesdropping,” the source said.
Employees operating the resort's call center said they know when the magnate was eavesdropping because a light would come on at the main switchboard and on certain other phones in the estate's system.
"The picture of Donald lying in bed listening into private calls is bad enough on its own," noted BlueNation Review's Melissa McEwan, "but what Donald did is not just merely creepy and unethical; it may also have been illegal."
Under Florida state law, BuzzFeed said, it's illegal to intercept or tape a phone conversation without all parties' consent. However, the law is murky on whether calls made by employees on business phones have that same expectation of privacy.
The revelations come in a week packed with bad news for Trump. As presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton steadily widens her lead in election polls, the Trump Institute -- one of Trump's now-infamous "seminar" programs like Trump University -- is accused of plagiarizing its lesson plans and materials.
Many Republicans are opting out of attending the GOP's Trump-led convention in July while others are still trying to find ways to stop his ascension to the party's highest position and sabotage his chances in the November election.