Trump goes ballistic in ferocious attack on Clintons
DONALD Trump launched a scorched-earth bid to salvage his flailing campaign in a vicious presidential debate, vowing to jail rival Hillary Clinton if he wins the White House, and accusing her husband of sexual misconduct.
Before tens of millions of viewers and a live audience that included Bill Clinton and three women who accuse him of past abuse, the Republican nominee shattered the last vestiges of political decorum and gave voice to incendiary allegations against the former president.
With his campaign in a tailspin, Mr Trump apologised for “locker room talk” in which he bragged about groping women, but stated baldly that “Bill Clinton was abusive to women”.
“If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse,” Mr Trump said. “Mine are words, his was action.”
Going a step further, the 70-yearold real estate mogul threatened his 2016 Democratic rival – whom he accused of having “hate in her heart” – with imprisonment if he wins the presidency.
“If I win, I’m going to instruct the attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation because there’s never been so many lies, so much deception,” Mr Trump said.
Hillary Clinton, facing a deeply wounded candidate with one month to go before Election Day, pushed back by saying Mr Trump’s lewd hotmic comments merely showed his true self.
“This is who Donald Trump is, and the question for us, the question our country must answer, is that this is not who we are.”
When Ms Clinton said that it was “awfully good” that someone with Mr Trump’s temperament was not leading the nation, he shot back,
“Because you’d be in jail.”
The debate’s opening minutes were tense, with Mr Trump slinging mud even at the two moderators – whom he accused of bias, saying it was “one against three” – between a continuous series of interruptions.
Ms Clinton, 68, largely refused to take the bait, saying, “This is not an ordinary time and this is not an ordinary election.”
In an extraordinary step aimed at reversing the tide of public opinion, Mr Trump had convened a press event just minutes before the debate that included several women who accuse Bill Clinton of sexual harassment and rape – later invited to attend the debate.
Introduced by Mr Trump as “very courageous women”, the invited speakers included Paula Jones, a former government employee in Arkansas who sued Mr Clinton for sexual harassment, and Juanita Broaddrick, also of Arkansas, who claims that Mr Clinton raped her in 1978.
But Mr Trump needs a dramatic boost if he is to claw back ground against Ms Clinton, who has surged in the polls since their first debate on September 26. –