Trump vows to sue all his fe­male ac­cusers

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Josh Le­d­er­man and Jill Colvin

Steer­ing his cam­paign to­ward con­tro­versy yet again, Don­ald Trump vowed Satur­day to sue ev­ery woman who has ac­cused him of sex­ual as­sault or other in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­ior. He called them “liars” whose al­le­ga­tions he blamed Democrats for or­ches­trat­ing.

Trump’s blunt threat of le­gal ac­tion eclipsed his planned fo­cus on se­ri­ous-minded pol­icy dur­ing a speech in Get­tys­burg. Though his cam­paign had billed the speech as a chance for Trump to lay out a to-do list for his first 100 days as pres­i­dent, he seemed un­able to re­strain him­self from re­lit­i­gat­ing griev­ances with Hil­lary Clin­ton, the me­dia and es­pe­cially the women who have come for­ward in re­cent days.

“All of these liars will be sued once the elec­tion is over,” Trump said. He added later: “I look so for­ward to do­ing that.”

Nearly a dozen women have pub­licly ac­cused Trump of un­wanted ad­vances or sex­ual as­sault in the weeks since a 2005 record­ing emerged in which the for­mer re­al­ity TV star boasted of kiss­ing women and grop­ing their gen­i­tals with­out their con­sent. The lat­est came on Satur­day, when an adult film ac­tress said the bil­lion­aire kissed her and two other women on the lips “with­out ask­ing for per­mis­sion” when they met him af­ter a golf tour­na­ment in 2006.

Trump has de­nied all the al­le­ga­tions, while in­sist­ing some of the women weren’t at­trac­tive enough for him to want to pur­sue.

“Ev­ery woman lied when they came for­ward to hurt my cam­paign,” he said. With­out of­fer­ing ev­i­dence, he sur­mised that Clin­ton or the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee had put the women up to it.

Speak­ing to re­porters aboard her cam­paign plane, Clin­ton said: “I saw where our op­po­nent Don­ald Trump went to Get­tys­burg, one of the most ex­tra­or­di­nary places in Amer­i­can his­tory, and ba­si­cally said if he’s pres­i­dent he’ll spend his time su­ing women who have made charges against him based on his be­hav­ior.” She also said the sug­ges­tion that Democrats or her cam­paign were en­cour­ag­ing women to level ac­cu­sa­tions against Trump “in­ac­cu­rate.”

Clin­ton told re­porters that, af­ter three de­bates, she wasn’t think­ing about re­spond­ing to what Trump says any­more and would “let the Amer­i­can peo­ple de­cide what he of­fers and what we of­fer.”

Trump’s broad­side against the women came at the start of an oth­er­wise sub­stan­tive speech that sought to weave the many pol­icy ideas he has put for­ward into a sin­gle, co­he­sive agenda that he said he would pur­sue ag­gres­sively dur­ing his first three months in of­fice.

The Repub­li­can nom­i­nee vowed to lift re­stric­tions on do­mes­tic en­ergy pro­duc­tion, la­bel China as a cur­rency ma­nip­u­la­tor and rene­go­ti­ate the North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment, fa­mil­iar themes to sup­port­ers who have flocked to his ral­lies this year.

“This is my pledge to you, and if we fol­low these steps, we will once again have a gov­ern­ment of, by and for the peo­ple,” Trump said, in­vok­ing a phrase from Pres­i­dent Abra­ham Lin­coln’s Get­tys­burg Ad­dress.

Though mostly a re­cap of poli­cies he’s pro­posed be­fore, Trump’s speech in­cluded a few new el­e­ments, such as a freeze on hir­ing new fed­eral work­ers and a two-year manda­tory min­i­mum sen­tence for im­mi­grants who re-en­ter the U.S. il­le­gally af­ter be­ing de­ported a first time. In a pledge sure to raise eye­brows on Wall Street, he said he’d block a po­ten­tial merger be­tween AT&T and me­dia con­glom­er­ate Time Warner.

Trans­lat­ing his pro­pos­als into di­gestible bul­let points, he of­fered to-the-point ti­tles for the leg­isla­tive ve­hi­cles he’d need Congress to ap­prove to ac­com­plish his goals, such as the “End Il­le­gal Im­mi­gra­tion Act” and the “Re­peal and Re­place Oba­macare Act.”

Through­out the GOP pri­mary, Trump was crit­i­cized for shy­ing away from de­tailed pol­icy pro­pos­als. But his speech, which aides said would form the core of his clos­ing ar­gu­ment to vot­ers, un­der­scored how the bil­lion­aire has grad­u­ally com­piled a broad — if some­times vague — pol­icy port­fo­lio that strad­dles con­ser­va­tive, iso­la­tion­ist and pop­ulist or­tho­dox­ies.

Yet any head­way that Trump may have made was likely to be di­luted by his le­gal threats against his ac­cusers, just the lat­est ex­am­ple of Trump step­ping on his in­tended mes­sage at in­op­por­tune mo­ments. Days ear­lier, dur­ing the fi­nal de­bate, his oth­er­wise well-re­ceived per­for­mance was marred by an alarm­ing state­ment near the end that he might not accept the out­come of the elec­tion if he loses.

Trump didn’t say what kind of law­suits he planned to file against the women, but any li­bel lit­i­ga­tion could be com­pli­cated by the fact that Trump, in the 2005 record­ing, bragged about the same kind of con­duct the women now ac­cuse him of per­pe­trat­ing. Trump re­cently vowed to sue The New York Times for li­bel, but has not yet fol­lowed through on the threat.

With the de­bates now over, Trump and Clin­ton have few ap­par­ent op­por­tu­ni­ties to al­ter the course the race sub­stan­tially — a re­al­ity that ben­e­fits Clin­ton more than Trump. The Repub­li­can is trail­ing his op­po­nent in most of the bat­tle­ground states while Clin­ton eyes po­ten­tial upset vic­to­ries in tra­di­tion­ally safe GOP ter­ri­tory, with Ari­zona at the top of the list.

An in­creas­ingly con­fi­dent Clin­ton on Satur­day made what’s be­come her clos­ing pitch in Pitts­burgh, stress­ing unity and ask­ing her back­ers to carry her mes­sage to any Trump sup­port­ers they meet.

EVAN VUCCI—THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump de­liv­ers a speech dur­ing a cam­paign event, Satur­day, in Get­tys­burg, Pa.

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