Trump launches fe­ro­cious at­tack on Clin­tons

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

Don­ald Trump has re­sponded to an out­cry over his re­marks about grop­ing women by launch­ing a blis­ter­ing at­tack against Hil­lary Clinton and her hus­band.

The Repub­li­can nom­i­nee de­nied ever sex­u­ally as­sault­ing women, but turned his fire on ex-Pres­i­dent Bill Clinton in a bit­ter US pres­i­den­tial de­bate.

“There’s never been any­body in the his­tory of pol­i­tics that has been so abu­sive to women,” he said.

Hil­lary Clinton re­fused to ad­dress his com­ments about her hus­band.

Mr Trump’s at­tack on the Clin­tons came af­ter mod­er­a­tor An­der­son Cooper asked him about a 2005 video re­leased on Fri­day that re­vealed Mr Trump brag­ging about grop­ing women.

The 70-year-old bil­lion­aire dis­missed the re­marks as “just words” and “locker room talk”.

When pressed on whether he had en­gaged in sex­ual mis­con­duct, he de­nied do­ing so and in­stead fo­cused on Mr Clinton’s pre­vi­ous in­dis­cre­tions.

No crim­i­nal charges have been brought against Mr Clinton in any al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual as­sault.

Mrs Clinton said the ex­plo­sive video, which has sparked an ex­o­dus of Repub­li­cans deny­ing sup­port to their pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee, “rep­re­sents ex­actly who he is”.

“With prior Repub­li­can nom­i­nees, I dis­agreed with them,” she added, “but I never ques­tioned their fit­ness to serve.”

When the two took to the stage in St Louis for their se­cond of three de­bates, they did not shake hands, strik­ing a bit­ter tone that would con­tinue through­out.

Mr Trump said if he won, he would ap­point a spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor to in­ves­ti­gate Mrs Clinton and she would be in prison over her pri­vate email ar­range­ments.

“Ev­ery­thing he just said is ab­so­lutely false but I’m not sur­prised,” she re­sponded. “It’s just aw­fully good that some­one with the tem­per­a­ment of Don­ald Trump is not in charge of the law in our coun­try.”

“Be­cause you’d be in jail,” he in­ter­rupted.

Mr Trump also said his Demo­cratic ri­val “has tremen­dous hate in her heart” while crit­i­cis­ing her for re­fer­ring to his sup­port­ers as “de­plorables”.

Mrs Clinton said she apol­o­gised for the com­ment, adding: “My ar­gu­ment is not with his sup­port­ers, it’s with him, about the hate­ful and di­vi­sive cam­paign he has run.”

The two also sparred on the con­flict in Syria, Rus­sian ag­gres-

sion, Trump’s re­fusal to re­lease his tax re­turns and his plan for the “ex­treme vet­ting” of im­mi­grants ar­riv­ing from coun­tries with links to ter­ror­ism.

The evening con­cluded when an au­di­ence mem­ber asked the can­di­dates to say one pos­i­tive thing about each other.

Mrs Clinton said his chil­dren were a great re­flec­tion of him while Mr Trump called his op­po­nent “a fighter” who never gives up.

An hour be­fore the de­bate be­gan, Mr Trump ap­peared at a news con­fer­ence with women who ac­cused Bill Clinton of sex­ual mis­con­duct.

He joined three women who al­lege the for­mer pres­i­dent sex­u­ally as­saulted them and called the women “very coura­geous”.

The Repub­li­can was un­der im­mense pres­sure af­ter mak­ing ob­scene com­ments about women in the 2005 video.

At least 33 se­nior Repub­li­cans in­clud­ing sen­a­tors, mem­bers of Congress, and state gov­er­nors have with­drawn their sup­port since the video sur­faced on Fri­day.

What else came up at de­bate?

• Mr Trump said he had not paid fed­eral in­come tax in 18 years be­cause he knew the tax code well

• He con­stantly com­plained to the mod­er­a­tors that he was not get­ting fair treat­ment

• On Syria, Mrs Clinton said she would not ad­vo­cate the use of US ground forces

• She promised that no-one mak­ing less than $250,000 will pay higher taxes but richer peo­ple will

• Mr Trump also ad­mit­ted he and run­ning mate Mike Pence dis­agreed about use of force in Syria

• But he re­fused to an­swer when mod­er­a­tor Martha Rad­datz pressed him for a mil­i­tary strat­egy

• Mrs Clinton also de­fended con­tro­ver­sial re­marks she made in a pri­vate speech that was made pub­lic in leaked emails on Satur­day.

• The tran­script re­vealed she said a politi­cian has a pub­lic and pri­vate po­si­tion, but at the de­bate she said she had watched a film about Abra­ham Lin­coln and was re­fer­ring only to what he had done.

Who are the women?

Mr Trump ap­peared with Paula Jones, a for­mer Arkansas state em­ployee who set­tled a sex­ual ha­rass­ment suit against Mr Clinton for $850,000 in 1999 with no ad­mis­sion of guilt.

Juanita Broad­drick, who claimed Mr Clinton raped her in a ho­tel room in 1978, also ap­peared with Mr Trump.

Mr Clinton has de­nied the claim through his lawyer and no charges have ever been brought against him.

The third woman was Kath­leen Wil­ley, a for­mer White House aide who said Mr Clinton groped her in his of­fice in 1993, but had pre­vi­ously said it never hap­pened.

Mr Clinton has also de­nied this claim.

Kathy Shel­ton, a fourth woman who spoke, en­coun­tered Mrs Clinton in a crim­i­nal case when she was 12 years old.

Early in Mrs Clinton’s le­gal ca­reer, she was ap­pointed to de­fend Ms Shel­ton’s rapist, de­spite ob­jec­tions, and had his sen­tence re­duced to a lesser charge.

Years later, an au­dio tape emerged of Mrs Clinton speak­ing with a re­porter, in which she can be heard laugh­ing about the case.

Dur­ing one in­stance, she laughed af­ter ex­plain­ing that her client had passed a lie de­tec­tor test, which con­vinced her to never trust them again.

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