Trump Hosts Surprise Panel with Bill Clinton’s Accusers

Donald Trump, reeling after two days of Republican disavowals and disaffections over a 2005 videotape of him bragging about his ability to get away with sexual assault, attempted to change the subject to his opponent’s husband’s alleged infidelities.

Just 90 minutes before his second debate Sunday night with Hillary Clinton, the GOP nominee held a surprise panel, broadcast live to Facebook, with women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct — in effect, dousing a campaign already on fire with buckets of fresh gasoline and bringing the worst fears of many Republicans to a stunning realization.

Seated beside four women — including Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Kathy Shelton — Trump addressed viewers ahead of the debate, making an issue of the sexual history of Bill Clinton, who is not running for president.

“These four very courageous women have asked to be here, and it was our honor to help them,” Trump said of the women who then excused his comments caught on tape and released on Friday.

“Actions speak louder than words,” said Broaddrick. “Mr. Trump may have said some bad words, but Bill Clinton raped me and Hillary Clinton threatened me. I don’t think there’s anything worse.”

Broaddrick once signed an affadavit saying Clinton did not in fact rape her, but later recanted.

Standing in the back of the Four Seasons Hotel ballroom were Trump’s closest aides, including Breitbart publisher Steve Bannon and David Bossie, who have made a career — on the fringes of conservative politics — out of attacking the Clintons.

The surprise roundtable and the tawdriness of the subject is unprecedented in presidential politics, especially on the eve of a debate.

Trump, whose campaign has long tested a fragile Republican coalition that now is undeniably in tatters, is responding to a 48-hour period in which he saw dozens of GOP officeholders pull their endorsements after the video recording that showed him bragging to TV host Billy Bush about his ability to get away with “grab[bing women] by the pussy.”

Ever defiant amidst calls that he surrender the nomination and step aside, Trump is instead engaging in a scorched-earth assault that is only likely to further erode his diminished standing with women voters with potentially devastating consequences for the Republican Party, which is now bracing itself for more sweeping losses down the ballot.

Clinton, who has taken a few days off the campaign trail to prepare for the second debate and the very likelihood of such an attack from Trump, has said very little publicly since the lewd videotape came to light on Friday.

Her campaign, however, issued a statement roughly an hour before the debate began characterizing Trump’s publicity stunt as an act of desperation.

“We’re not surprised to see Donald Trump continue his destructive race to the bottom,” said Clinton’s communications director, Jennifer Palmieri. “Hillary Clinton understands the opportunity in this town hall is to talk to voters on stage and in the audience about the issues that matter to them, and this stunt doesn’t change that.

“If Donald Trump doesn’t see that, that’s his loss. As always, she’s prepared to handle whatever Donald Trump throws her way.”

(h/t Politico)

Reality

Donald Trump is asking you to ignore the actual recorded words he said 10 years ago, but to pay attention to the allegations of women against the spouse of his political opponent 20-30 years ago.

Media

CBS News

Trump Defends Sexual Assault as ‘Locker Room Talk’ At Debate

Donald Trump defended his lewd and sexually aggressive comments as “locker room” talk three times during Sunday’s presidential debate.

On Friday, previously unaired 2005 footage revealed the Republican presidential nominee bragging about trying to have sex with a married woman and being able to grope women.

“When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything … Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything,” Trump had said.

Trump later issued a apology, calling the conversation “locker room banter.”

1. ‘This was locker room talk’

“I don’t think you understood what was — this was locker room talk. I’m not proud of it. I apologize to my family. I apologize to the American people. Certainly I’m not proud of it. But this is locker room talk.”

2. ‘It’s locker room talk’

“Yes, I’m very embarrassed by it. I hate it. But it’s locker room talk, and it’s one of those things. I will knock the hell out of ISIS. We’re going to defeat ISIS. ISIS happened a number of years ago in a vacuum that was left because of bad judgment. And I will tell you, I will take care of ISIS.”

3. ‘It was locker room talk’

“It was locker room talk, as I told you. That was locker room talk. I’m not proud of it. I am a person who has great respect for people, for my family, for the people of this country. And certainly, I’m not proud of it. But that was something that happened.”

(h/t CNN)

Reality

So what room do I need to be in to call Donald Trump a racist, sexist, motherfucker and be completely excused?

Donald Trump claimed he never did any of the actions described in the 2005 tape, but a New York Times piece interviewed hundreds of women who allege otherwise. Some, such as Jill Harth settled in court over her claims.

Media

MSNBC

Lewd Recording Uncovered of Trump Seducing a Married Woman

Donald Trump bragged in vulgar terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women during a 2005 conversation caught on a hot microphone — saying that “when you’re a star, they let you do it” — according to a video obtained by The Washington Post.

The video captures Trump talking with Billy Bush of “Access Hollywood” on a bus with Access Hollywood written across the side. They were arriving on the set of “Days of Our Lives” to tape a segment about Trump’s upcoming cameo on the soap opera.

The tape obtained by the Post includes audio of Bush and Trump’s conversation inside the bus, as well as audio and video once they emerge from it to begin shooting the segment.

In that audio, Trump discusses a failed attempt to seduce a woman, whose full name is not given in the video.

“I moved on her and I failed. I’ll admit it,” Trump is heard saying. It was unclear when the events he was describing took place. The tape was recorded several months after he married his third wife, Melania.

“Whoa,” another voice said.

“I did try and f— her. She was married,” Trump says.

Trump continues: “And I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.’”

“I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married,” Trump says. “Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”

At that point in the audio, Trump and Bush appear to notice Arianne Zucker, the actress who is waiting to escort them into the soap opera set.

“Your girl’s hot as s—, in the purple,” says Bush, who’s now a co-host of NBC’s “Today” show.

“Whoa!” Trump says. “Whoa!”

 “I’ve gotta use some tic tacs, just in case I start kissing her,” Trump says.“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”

“And when you’re a star they let you do it,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”

“Whatever you want,” says another voice, apparently Bush’s.

“Grab them by the p—y,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”

A spokeswoman for NBC Universal, which produces and distributes “Access Hollywood,” declined comment.

“This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course – not even close,” Trump said in a statement. “I apologize if anyone was offended.”

The tape appears at a time when Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, has sought to make a campaign issue out of his opponent’s marriage. Trump has criticized former President Bill Clinton for his past infidelity, and criticized opponent Hillary Clinton as her husband’s “enabler.”

“Hillary Clinton was married to the single greatest abuser of women in the history of politics,” Trump told the New York Times in a recent interview. “Hillary was an enabler, and she attacked the women who Bill Clinton mistreated afterward. I think it’s a serious problem for them, and it’s something that I’m considering talking about more in the near future.”

Trump carried on a very public affair with Marla Maples — his eventual second wife — while still married to first wife Ivana Trump.

Trump has been criticized in this campaign for derogatory and lewd comments about women, including some made on TV and live radio. In an interview Wednesday with KSNV-TV, a Las Vegas television station, Trump said that those comments were made for entertainment.

“A lot of that was done for the purpose of entertainment. There’s nobody that has more respect for women than I do,” he told the station.

“Are you trying to tone it down now?” asked the interviewer, Jim Snyder.

“It’s not a question of trying, it’s very easy,” said Trump.

The tape obtained by The Post seems to have captured Trump in a private moment, with no audience beyond Bush and a few others on the bus. It appears to have been shot around September 16, 2005, which was the day press reports said Trump would tape his soap-opera cameo.

The video shows the bus carrying Trump and Bush turning down a street on the studio backlot. The two men cannot be seen.

“Oh, nice legs, huh?” Trump says.

“Oof, get out of the way, honey,” Bush says, apparently referencing somebody else blocking the view of Zucker.

The two men then exit the bus, and greet Zucker.

“We’re ready, let’s go,” Trump says, after the initial greetings. “Make me a soap star.”

“How about a little hug for the Donald?” Bush says. “He just got off the bus.”

“Would you like a little hug, darling?” Zucker says.

“Absolutely,” Trump says. As they embrace, and air-kiss, Trump says, “Melania said this was okay.”

The video then follows Trump, Bush and Zucker into the studio. Trump did appear on Days of Our Lives, in late October. In a tape of that cameo posted online, Zucker’s character asks Trump — playing himself — for a job at his business, and tells him suggestively, “I think you’ll find I’m a very willing employee. Working under you, I think, could be mutually beneficial.”

Trump’s character gives her the brushoff.

“That’s an interesting proposition,” Trump says onscreen. “I’ll get back to you.”

A publicist for Zucker did not immediately respond to questions on Friday afternoon.

In a 2005 interview on the TV show “Soap Talk,” posted online, host Lisa Rinna asked Zucker if Trump was cute.

“He is so cute and charming,” Zucker said. “You just don’t look above…” she said, and motioned to her hairline.

(h/t Washington Post)

Media

Trump Stands By Racist Claim That Exonerated ‘Central Park 5’ Are Guilty

Donald Trump has stood by his decades-old claim that the group of five men blamed for a 1989 rape and beating in Central Park before being exonerated were actually guilty.

In a statement to CNN as part of a retrospective on the case, the Republican presidential nominee maintained, despite DNA and other evidence to the contrary, that the men were guilty of raping and beating an investment banker who had been jogging in Central Park at night.

“They admitted they were guilty,” Trump said. “The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous. And the woman, so badly injured, will never be the same.”

The five men, who became known as the Central Park Five, were exonerated in 2002 when an investigation by the Manhattan district attorney found DNA evidence linking the vicious crime to a previously convicted rapist. That man admitted to acting alone in the crime.

New York City settled with the five men in 2014, agreeing to pay them a collective $40 million for time spent wrongfully convicted and imprisoned. The hasty conviction of the men, who were ages 14 to 16 at the time, was widely viewed as a symptom of racial biases and the pressure prosecutors and law enforcement felt to find culprits amid fear of crime in the city amid a spiraling crime rate.

Trump, then as now a prominent Manhattan real-estate figure, took out a full-page ad in The New York Times shortly after the jogger was attacked calling for New York to revive the death penalty.

“I want to hate these muggers and murderers,” Trump wrote. “They should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes. They must serve as examples so that others will think long and hard before committing a crime or an act of violence.”

Trump also previously complained in an op-ed article in the New York Daily News that the settlement between the five men and New York was a “disgrace,” saying the “recipients must be laughing out loud at the stupidity of the city” to settle for an amount as high as $40 million.

Trump’s campaign has previously defended his demonization of the wrongfully convicted men.

Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, an adviser to Trump’s campaign, touted the ad earlier this year during an interview with an Alabama radio station, saying that it showed Trump was committed to law and order.

“Trump has always been this way,” Sessions said. “People say he wasn’t a conservative, but he bought an ad 20 years ago in The New York Times calling for the death penalty. How many people in New York, that liberal bastion, were willing to do something like that?”

(h/t Business Insider)

Reality

Donald Trump called for, and still today is calling for, the execution of five men for a crime they didn’t commit. How is that for “law and order?”

The case was notable for its racial politics: Four of the Central Park Five were black and one was Latino while the victim was a white banker.

Trump Says Illegal Immigrants Pouring Across the Border to Vote

The federal government is allowing illegal immigrants to flow into the U.S. so they can vote, Donald Trump alleged Friday, fueling his own argument that November’s presidential election will be rigged against him.

At a roundtable with National Border Patrol Council members Friday morning inside Trump Tower, Art Del Cueto, national vice president of the union that represents Border Patrol agents, told the Republican presidential nominee that agents have been advised not to deport illegal immigrants with criminal records, according to a pool report.

Trump conveyed his appreciation for Border Patrol agents, telling them their jobs would be so much easier if they just allowed people to come across the border.

“But you love our country,” Trump said, adding, “You know many people are coming in with criminal records.”

Del Cueto told Trump that he has spoken to a number of agents who are in charge of processing. “And the problem that we’re seeing reflected through us as a voice is that some of these individuals that were apprehended with criminal records, they’re not, they’re checking their records, they see that they have criminal records, but they’re setting them aside because at this point they are saying immigration is so tied up with trying to get the people who are on the waiting list to hurry up and get them their immigration status corrected,” he said.

“Why? Trump asked. “So they can go ahead and vote before the election,” Del Cueto responded.

“Big statement, fellas,” Trump said, motioning to reporters, whom he accused of concealing from the public what they just heard. “You’re not going to write it. That’s huge. But they’re letting people pour into the country so they can go and vote.”

Del Cueto said the government wants “to hurry up and fast track them so they can go ahead and vote in the election,” prompting Trump to promote himself as a change agent.

“You hear a thing like that, and it’s a disgrace,” he said. “Well, it will be a lot different if I get elected.”

The real estate mogul suggested at last week’s presidential debate that he would accept the outcome of the election — but his rhetoric before and after his first faceoff with Hillary Clinton has contradicted that claim.

“The answer is, if she wins, I will absolutely support her,” Trump told debate moderator Lester Holt, indicating that he would concede the election if he lost to Clinton without floating conspiracies of a rigged election.

At a rally in Henderson, Nevada, on Wednesday, Trump again hinted of a rigged election, urging his supporters to turn out even on their death beds so “the other side” doesn’t steal the election.

“I say kiddingly, but I mean it: I don’t care how sick you are. I don’t care if you just came back from the doctor and he gave you the worst possible prognosis, meaning it’s over, you won’t be around in two weeks,” Trump said. “Doesn’t matter. Hang out ‘til Nov. 8. Get out and vote. And then all we’re gonna say is we love you and we will remember you always. Get out and vote. And don’t let the other side take this election away from us because this is the last chance we get.”

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham on Thursday condemned Trump for sowing doubt in voters’ minds by questioning the integrity of the presidential election.

“I don’t think it’s good for democracy to have a major candidate for president doubt the outcome. Now, could the election be compromised from hacking and all kind of nefarious activities?” he told CNN. “Yeah, that’s possible, but being rigged means it’s rigged against you. And I think Mr. Trump’s fate is in his own hands. The system’s not rigged against him, as far as I can tell, and when you suggest it might be, then that’s a message to your supporters and to the country as a whole that you can’t trust the outcome of an American election.”

He added, “We got enough problems here at home without making people believe that we’re not gonna honestly elect the next president.”

(h/t Politico)

Reality

Since 1996, federal law has prohibited non-citizens from voting in federal elections, punishing them by fines, imprisonment, inadmissibility, and deportation.

There’s no evidence, though, that immigrants (a) come to the country illegally to vote, (b) register to vote illegally and (c) cast votes in federal elections on any substantive scale.

Media

The Washington Post

Insensitive Trump Jokingly Courts the Terminally Ill Vote

Speaking at a rally in Nevada, Donald Trump has urged the terminally ill to vote for him.

“I don’t care how sick you are,” the Republican nominee said.

“I don’t care if you just came back from the doctor and he gave you the worst possible prognosis, meaning it’s over. Doesn’t matter. Hang out till November 8. Get out and vote.”

He continued: “And then, all we’re gonna say is, ‘We love you and we will remember you always.’ Get out and vote.”

If it helps you gauge how serious Trump was, it’s worth considering that he also remarked “I say kiddingly, but I mean it” at the time. Make of that what you will.

(h/t BBC)

Media

Mother and Daughter With Disabilities Bullied By Trump Supporters At Rally

A young mother says she and her seven-year-old daughter with disabilities had to be escorted out of a Donald Trump rally by Secret Service officers after they were bullied by supporters.

Jennifer Mau went to the Republican nominee’s event in Loveland, Colorado on Monday night, saying she was curious what he would say about people with disabilities.

The mom, who is an undecided voter, said she decided to leave after about 20 minutes.

‘I just wanted to see what a (Trump) rally would be like, because I’ve watched them all over the country,’ she told KMGH.

But once Mau got up to leave with her daughter – who was born with multiple birth defects, including facial anomalies, and no jawbone or ears – that’s when she says the trouble started.

‘Somebody said, “why are you leaving”, and basically that struck a nerve and I said, “why are you here”, because it was all handicapped people, and I said, “why are you here, he makes fun of people like you”.’

She went on to say once she did decide to leave, a woman began following her and hurling abuse at her.

‘She was screaming and yelling at me, saying that if I loved my daughter I would vote for Trump and I need to get educated because he didn’t mock somebody on purpose.

‘It made me sad, it made me want to vomit. Chloe is my life, my heart, I live to advocate for Chloe, to be there for her.’

Mau also said other people at the event said her young girl was beautiful as she left.

Trump has been slammed for mocking a New York Times reporter who has a disability at a rally in South Carolina last November.

The Republican did an impression of Serge Kovaleski – a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist who was born with arthrogryposis – that included him putting on a bizarre voice and flailing his limbs around.

Arthrogryposis can cause sufferers’ joints to get stuck in one position and can also see people born with weaker or missing muscles.

(h/t The Daily Mail)

Media

Trump Threatens to Sue Clinton Over Attack Ads That Use His Own Words

Donald Trump is taking his penchant for lawsuits on the campaign trail. On Wednesday during a rally in Henderson, Nevada, the Republican presidential nominee threatened to take legal action against Hillary Clinton for a “nasty” television ad the campaign ran against him.

“I saw today — I left the room and I saw a commercial where it was really a nasty commercial, totally made up about me with vets,” Trump told the crowd. “There is nobody that loves the vets more or respects the vets more. They’re spending hundreds of millions of dollars on false commercials, and it’s a disgrace.”

“So what we’ll do — I guess we’ll sue them,” he said. “Let’s sue them.”

It was not immediately clear which ad Trump was referring to, but last month, the Clinton campaign premiered a 30-second spot that slams Trump and features veterans. The “Sacrifice” ad, like other Clinton ads targeting Trump, relies on Trump’s own words for its impact on voters.  It shows a montage of veterans and their families as they watch Trump on television criticizing the military.

“I know more about ISIS than the generals do,” Trump’s voice says from a TV screen as a Navy veteran looks on.

One veteran with an artificial leg, along with his family, watches as Trump blasts Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a former prisoner of war, as someone who was “not a war hero.”

“He’s a war hero because he was captured,” Trump says. “I like people who weren’t captured, OK?”

Here’s the video in full:

During last week’s first presidential debate in New York, Trump also slammed Clinton for her “very nasty commercials… which I don’t do on you.”

In fact, Trump has run negative ads against Clinton, including ones that have said Clinton “put our national security at risk” and have called her “careless, reckless, crooked.”

(h/t CBS News)

Media

Trump Suggests Veterans With PTSD Are Not ‘Strong’

Donald Trump on Monday seemed to imply that military veterans battling post-traumatic stress disorder are not strong because they “can’t handle” the “horror stories” they’ve seen in combat.

Trump delivered a brief address to veterans in Herndon, Virginia, before participating in a Q-and-A session, during which the Republican presidential nominee was asked whether he would “support and fund a more holistic approach to solve the problems and issues of veteran suicide, PTSD, [traumatic brain injuries] and other” mental and behavioral health issues facing veterans, as well as if he would “take steps to restore the historic role of our chaplains and the importance of spiritual fitness and spiritual resiliency programs.”

Trump responded in the affirmative, adding that the U.S. needs that “so badly.”

“When you talk about the mental health problems, when people come back from war and combat — and they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in this room have seen many times over and you’re strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can’t handle it,” Trump said. “And they see horror stories. They see events that you couldn’t see in a movie. Nobody would believe it.”

The real estate mogul called for more assistance with veterans’ mental health, noting that “it’s one of the things that I think is least addressed” but also “one of the things that I hear the most about when I go around and talk to the veterans.”

“So we’re gonna have a very, very robust — very, very robust — level of performance having to do with mental health. We are losing so many great people that can be taken care of if they had proper care,” Trump continued. “You know, when you hear the 22 suicides a day — big part of your question — but when you hear the 22 suicides a day, that should never be. That should never be. So we’re gonna be addressing that very strongly, and the whole mental health issue is going to be a very important issue when I take over, and the VA is going to be fixed in so many ways, but that’s gonna be one of the ways we’re gonna help, and that’s in many respects going to be the No. 1 thing we have to do because I think it’s really been left behind.”

In a statement released Monday afternoon by Trump’s campaign, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn blamed the media for what he framed as a blatant attempt to “deceive voters and veterans.”

“The media continues to operate as the propaganda arm of Hillary Clinton as they took Mr. Trump’s words out of context in order to deceive voters and veterans—an appalling act that shows they are willing to go to any length to carry water for their candidate of choice,” Flynn said. “Mr. Trump was highlighting the challenges veterans face when returning home after serving their country. He has always respected the service and sacrifice of our military men and women—proposing reforms to Veteran Affairs to adequately address the various issues veterans face when they return home.”

(h/t Politico)

Reality

Trump’s comments were part of a call for more focus and resources on veteran mental health. It’s a worthy call, of course, but his statement betrayed a fundamental misunderstanding about mental health.

Veterans are not weak for having a mental health disorder. The science shows that PTSD can happen to anyone. It is not a sign of weakness. A number of factors can increase the chance that someone will develop PTSD, many of which are not under that person’s control.

It is insulting that Trump is speaking from ignorance on a very serious subject.

And Trump is no stranger to insulting our veterans.

  • In July, 2015, Trump slammed Senator John McCain for not being a war hero, “because he was captured.”
  • After four months of bragging he gave $1 million dollars to veteran charities that Trump pledged during his Rally For Vets event, journalist uncovered that Trump was lying the entire time. Only then did Trump donate his money to veterans.

Although the rate of veterans suicide was previously estimated to be 22 a day, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs updated that number to 20 in July.

Media

Donald Trump’s ‘Fiduciary Duty’ Tax Rate Excuse is Nonsense

There’s no evidence yet that Donald Trump violated any tax laws with his mammoth $916 million reported loss in 1995 when he paid no taxes. But the claim by Trump and his surrogates that he had a “fiduciary duty” to his family and investors to pay as little tax as possible is pretty silly.

Fiduciary duty, of course, applies to public company executives who have to maximize shareholder value by paying the lowest legal rate. But this has to do with corporate tax returns, the question raised by the New York Times is about his personal tax return, which are not the same thing.

(h/t Politico)

Reality

Either Donald Trump does not know there is a difference between personal and corporate tax filings, he doesn’t understand what the word “fiduciary” means, or he is banking on the idea that you don’t understand the different tax fillings by stringing together a nonsensical sentence.

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