By NOLAN D. MCCASKILL – – – – – –
Donald Trump warned against the release of more damaging tapes of his past comments, threatening to continue attacking the Clintons over former President Bill Clinton’s alleged infidelities and Hillary Clinton’s response to those women’s accusations if more such tapes emerge.
“I was getting beaten up for 72 hours on all the networks for inappropriate words 12 years ago — locker room talk, whatever you wanna call it,” Trump told supporters at a rally Monday in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. “But, I said to myself, wait a minute — and I just saw very inappropriate words — but Bill Clinton sexually assaulted innocent women, and Hillary Clinton attacked those women viciously. One of them said more viciously than he attacked them.”
Then the Republican presidential nominee issued his threat to the Clintons, accusing them of being responsible for the leaked 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape that dogged Trump’s campaign all weekend and prompted an exodus of support from prominent Republicans.
“If they wanna release more tapes saying inappropriate things, we’ll continue to talk about Bill and Hillary Clinton doing inappropriate things,” Trump said. “There are so many of them, folks.”
Trump aggressively went after Hillary Clinton at his rally, reviving a number of attack lines he used in Sunday’s debate and ignoring the news that rippled through Washington: House Speaker Paul Ryan dumped Trump earlier Monday (though he hasn’t officially rescinded his endorsement), telling Republicans in his chamber on a conference call that he will no longer defend Trump and that they should do whatever’s necessary to maintain their majority.
Clinton emerged from Trump’s weekend of wreckage with a double-digit lead over the billionaire nationally, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Monday. His 11-point deficit threatens to be a drag on congressional Republicans’ reelection efforts.
Trump has repeatedly attacked Bill Clinton since the revelation of extremely crude comments the real estate mogul made about women were exposed on Friday. In a brief written statement, Trump dismissed his remarks about trying to sleep with a married woman and groping women’s genitals and forcibly kissing them with impunity because he’s famous as “locker room banter.”
He accused Bill Clinton of having said “far worse” to him in private conversations while golfing. But he didn’t leave it at that, and he didn’t stop there. He attacked the Clintons again in a video statement released shortly after midnight Saturday and once again Sunday evening at the St. Louis debate, which the GOP nominee preceded with a surprise panel on Facebook Live featuring women who have accused the Clintons of wrongdoing.
Those women — Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Kathy Shelton — also attended the debate. Trump’s campaign had even devised a covert plan to have the four women join the Trump family’s box and cause a scene on national television by entering the debate hall with the 42nd president. But the plan that was thwarted by a co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates, which threatened to have security remove the women from the family-only elevated box.
“You probably saw yesterday: We brought four wonderful women to St. Louis. And honestly, it was both very beautiful and very sad,” Trump said Monday. “Really, they had been trying to get their feelings out for so long and the media wouldn’t take it.”
That is, until they appeared with Trump. “So they were able to get what they wanted to get out,” Trump said, going on to quote Broaddrick’s accusations about Bill Clinton’s alleged rape and Hillary Clinton’s alleged threat. “She’s been struggling to get the media to pay attention to her for many, many years. So last night I decided we would expose the hypocrisy of the Clintons and the media to the entire world.”