Trump’s Debate-Night Meltdown
The second presidential debate started out civil.Then it got nuclear.The Republican presidential nominee threatened to prosecute the Democratic candidate if he becomes president, and accused the debate moderators of teaming up with Hillary Clinton to orchestrate a one-on-three contest.Before reiterating his apology for his 2005 comments in which he bragged about sexually assaulting women and doubling down on likening the lewd rhetoric to locker room banter, Donald Trump said Clinton should be in jail for her email setup. It was clear that he wanted to move past the controversy, as he pivoted immediately to his promise to knock the hell out of ISIS and his description of the current state of affairs as like medieval times. Trump previewed his debate strategy earlier Sunday when he conducted a media availability on Facebook Live alongside four women who have accused former President Bill Clinton of rape and Hillary Clinton of protecting a sex offenderJuanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones, and Kathleen Shelton. All four women were inside the debate hall on Sunday night. Co-moderator Anderson Cooper asked Trump if he essentially bragged that you have sexually assaulted women, an assertion Trump rejected. He also told Cooper that he had never actually acted based on the remarks.Trump went on to mention the women by name, and brushed off his 2005 comments as just words, folks, adding that the Clintons treated women disgracefully.Theres never been anybody in the history of politics in this nation thats been more abusive to women, Trump said of Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton attacked those same womenattacked them viciouslyfour of them here tonight I think its disgraceful and I think she should be ashamed of herself. In her response, Clinton hit right back at Trump for refusing to apologize for anything to anyone, including his attacks on a Gold Star family, a judge presiding over his Trump University fraud case, and the racist lie that President Barack Obama was not born in the U.S.Clinton said she has disagreed with prior Republican presidential nominees on policy issues, but never questioned their ability to serve as president.Donald Trump is different, she continued. Many Republicans and independents have said the same thing This is what Donald thinks about women and what he does to women. Yes, this is who Donald Trump is, Clinton added. This is not who we are as a country.Trump retorted, its just words, folks, and pivoted to his usual stump speech talking points. He described the disastrous conditions in Americas inner cities, and pledged to help African-Americans and Hispanics.He concluded the exchange by pledging: If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your [email] situation.Trump was universally condemned for the remarks which were caught on a hot mic during a taping of NBCs Access Hollywood. He lost endorsements from key Republicans in the immediate aftermath, and pledged to wage war against the hypocrites who abandoned him. On the tape, which was published by The Washington Post in full on Friday, Trump bragged about using his celebrity status to sexually assault women.