By Doug Porter
If you just watched the debate portion of yesterday’s political drama, you missed Donald Trump sitting at a press conference alongside four women with Clinton issues he’d flown to St. Louis.
Three of the women claimed somebody who wasn’t on the ticket sexually abused them in some manner. One of the women was raped by a man who a young lawyer named Hillary Clinton was assigned to defend in court.
The Trump campaign’s plan, according to today’s Washington Post, was to place the four women in the Clinton family seating area and have them confront the former president on live television at some point in the evening.
The plan was foiled just moments before the debate was supposed to start when Frank J. Fahrenkopf, the debate commission’s co-chairman and a former Republican National Committee chairman, caught wind of the plot and warned the campaign that he’d have security personnel remove the women if this was attempted.
From the Washington Post article:
The gambit to give Bill Clinton’s accusers prime seats was devised by Trump campaign chief executive Stephen K. Bannon and Jared Kushner, the candidate’s son-in-law, and approved personally by Trump. The four women — three of whom have alleged that Bill Clinton sexually assaulted or harassed them years ago — were to walk in the debate hall at the same time as the 42nd president and confront him in front of a national television audience.
“We were going to put the four women in the VIP box,” said former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who represents Trump in debate negotiations. “We had it all set. We wanted to have them shake hands with Bill, to see if Bill would shake hands with them.”
The four women — Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey and Kathy Shelton — sat with other ticketed members of the audience. Bill Clinton long has denied the allegations of Jones, Broaddrick and Willey. Shelton was 12 years old when she accused a 41-year-old man of raping her. Hillary Clinton was selected by a judge to defend the man, who eventually pleaded to a lesser charge.
So there’s that. The Trump campaign was trying to get inside Hillary’s head and rattle her before the debate even started.
CNN focus group asked to raise hand if Trump did enough to put 2005 lewd tape behind him.
Not one hand went up. pic.twitter.com/dugTd6jmtL
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) October 10, 2016
Imagine, if you will, how the GOP chattering class would be howling if the Clinton campaign had flown in the co-host of Access Now, who was the subject of Trump’s misogynist remarks caught on tape back in 2005. Or if they’d flown in the woman who is suing Trump, saying he raped her at age 13. Or any of the other women like Temple Taggart, a former Miss Utah who was 21 when she met Trump in 1997, who’ve described his loutish behavior.
But the Clinton campaign didn’t do any of those things.
The Actual Debate
It was hard to watch. Perhaps the ugliest debate ever. Trump exceeded the below sea level expectations going into the debate. Hillary Clinton got rattled at times, responding too much to what was said and too little with what she’d do.
Strip away all the fact checking and interruptions (Trump 18, Clinton 1, according to Vox.com) and five things happened during the debate:
- Trump played to his base supporters, saying Hillary Clinton had hate in her heart and should be thrown in jail.
- Trump threw his Vice Presidential candidate under the bus on a foreign policy question
- Trump admitted to not paying taxes and kinda liking Russia
- Trump tried to physically intimidate Clinton during the debate
- Asked to find something he respected about Hillary Clinton, Trump forgot about saying she had no stamina and said he respected her tenacity.
- Hillary Clinton (mostly) played prevent defense. She waited too long to strike back on Trump’s claim about her ineffectiveness in Congress and his use of Bernie Sanders as a bludgeon.
I seriously don’t know how you could fact check any situation involving Donald Trump. He just says whatever comes to mind and to him it’s the truth. Court filings relating to bankruptcies from the 1990s reveal that his own attorneys had a protocol dictating two lawyers be present during any meeting with Donald Trump because of his penchant for lying.
David Leonhart at the New York Times wrote an op-ed consisting of 20 outright lies told by Donald Trump during the debate, complete with links to reporting on those subjects.
The enviro-reporters at Grist.com did a fact check on both candidates statements about the environment and energy.
Donald garnered five rebukes. Perhaps the most outlandish of those was: “I will bring our energy companies back. … They will make money. They will pay off our national debt. They will pay off our tremendous budget deficits.”
Hillary made a two statements deserving a push back: Natural gas is “no better for the climate than coal when you consider the high rates of methane leakage in natural gas production and transport” and “the country is still a net importer of crude oil and petroleum products.”
If you’re really a masochist, Politifact published an annotated transcript of the entire debate, complete with fact checks. (Click on the stars.)
Not that he had that many on his side to start with, but Donald Trump’s exhortations to minorities were genuinely offensive.
I think this dude just flipped to “decided voter” pic.twitter.com/h6WRytOhEs
— Clay Skipper (@SkipperClay) October 10, 2016
While his threat to put Hillary in jail (now it was “just a quip” according to his handlers), may dominate post-debate discussions, what millions of people saw was his body language.
What. Is. He. Doing. pic.twitter.com/6uE8sf09ul
— James West (@jameswest2010) October 10, 2016
Note to my male friends who might not realize: Trump’s standing behind her is a bullying tactic. Abusive men do this to us all the time.
— Melissa Ryan (@MelissaRyan) October 10, 2016
Darrell Issa – Take Note
Finally, from a Sacramento Bee editorial:
The video makes clear what Trump’s supporters have denied for months, with willful blindness: Trump is unfit to be president. Any elected or party leader who will not repudiate him now must accept his words as their own.
That includes Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, Reps. Tom McClintock, Jeff Denham, Darrell Issa, and Kevin McCarthy, California Republican Party chief Jim Brulte, and others who have stood by him.
In his pathetic apology, Trump claimed that although he gleefully recounted on the tape that he pursued a married woman while his third wife was pregnant, that’s not who he is. It’s exactly he who he is. When he made those remarks, he was four years older than Barack Obama is now.
— Bimmerella (@bimmerella) October 10, 2016
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