Trump Brings Bill Clinton Accusers to St. Louis Debate
Prior to the second presidential debate, Donald Trump held a press conference for sexual assault victims who were allegedly mistreated by Bill and Hillary Clinton.
The Hill reports:
Donald Trump has brought to Sunday’s presidential debate in St. Louis three women who have accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual assault or rape and a fourth who said Hillary Clinton defended the man who raped her as a child.
Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, Kathy Shelton and Paula Jones all attended a pre-debate press conference 90 minutes before Trump is to take the stage in the second presidential debate against Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee.
All four gave statements of support for Trump while seated at a table with the Republican presidential nominee.
CNN reported that Broaddrick, Willey and Jones will all be in the debate hall Sunday night as Trump’s guests, which will put them in the same room as both Clintons and their daughter, Chelsea.
Trump, who said the four women had courageously asked to be in St. Louis, has repeatedly suggested he would go on the attack over Bill Clinton’s infidelities and what he says was Hillary Clinton’s bullying of those women.
“Actions speak louder than words. Mr. Trump may have said some bad words, but Bill Clinton raped me and Hillary Clinton threatened me,” said Broaddrick, who has accused the former president of raping her in 1978 when he served as Arkansas attorney general.
“I don’t think there’s any comparison,” she said.
Jones told the media that she believes Trump’s character has been misconstrued.
“I think everyone else should vote for him, and I think they should all look at the fact he’s a good person, not what other people have said he’s been,” she said.
The effort comes as Trump reels from the deepest crisis in his own campaign after video from 2005 was released that shows him making lewd remarks about groping women. The tape has led a number of Republican legislators to break with their nominee.
Hillary Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri bashed the “stunt” in a statement.
“We’re not surprised to see Donald Trump continue his destructive race to the bottom,” she said.
“Hillary Clinton understands the opportunity in this town hall is to talk to voters on stage and in the audience about the issues that matter to them, and this stunt doesn’t change that. If Donald Trump doesn’t see that, that’s his loss. As always, she’s prepared to handle whatever Donald Trump throws her way.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) recommended that Clinton just “ignore” the press conference when she hits the debate stage, arguing in an interview with CNN that “this is beneath the dignity” of the debate.
Jones sued President Clinton for sexual harassment, and the case ultimately settled. Willey also accused him of sexual harassment while he served as president.
Hillary Clinton was appointed to defend the man accused of raping Shelton when she was 12, and the man pleaded to a lesser charge.
Shelton said Clinton “put me through something you’d never put a 12-year-old through” while defending the man accused of raping her and accused her of “laughing on tape” about the situation.
There is audio of Clinton discussing Shelton’s case years later and she does laugh during it. But the laughter does not appear to be targeted at Shelton or her situation, but instead about how the man passing the polygraph test destroyed her faith in those tests during a discussion about presenting evidence.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr.