Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump — who invited Bill Clinton‘s accusers to the second presidential debate — threatened to continue personal attacks against the Clintons if additional recordings of the real estate mogul are made public.
“If they want to release more tapes saying inappropriate things, we’ll continue to talk about Bill and Hillary Clinton doing inappropriate things,” said Trump at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania, referring to the release of recorded audio last week showing him making comments about groping women in 2005.
In the midst of the uproar about his 11-year-old comments this past weekend — a controversy that drew fire from a wide swath of GOP lawmakers — Trump levied charges against the Clintons, saying in a recorded statement Friday that “Bill Clinton has actually abused women, and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims.”
At his rally Monday, Trump again made the claim, saying, “[Bill Clinton] was a predator. Hillary Clinton systematically attacked and discredited the victims of Bill Clinton’s sexual harassment and assault. These things aren’t written by the media but they’re true.”
Bill Clinton has never been charged with a crime and the woman who accused him of rape, Juanita Broaddrick, initially denied the allegations in a 1998 lawsuit but recanted the denial the next year.
Paula Jones accused the former president of sexual harassment in a 1994 suit but the settlement in the case admitted no wrongdoing. Clinton’s attorney called the claims “baseless.”
Kathleen Willey said Bill Clinton assaulted her in the Oval Office, disclosing the claims in 1998 during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. The U.S. Office of Independent Counsel had concerns about her statements because she had lied to the FBI and said there was insufficient evidence to believe that Bill Clinton’s testimony in the case was false.
Trump held a press conference with the three women as well as Kathy Shelton ahead of the debate. Hillary Clinton represented as a public defender the man Shelton said raped her as a 12-year-old girl.
In 1998, Trump called Clinton’s accusers “unattractive” and said the former president was a “victim.”
“We brought four wonderful women to St. Louis… Honestly, it was both very beautiful and very sad,” said Trump. “They’ve been trying to get their feelings out for so long and the media wouldn’t take it.”
Trump’s recap of the debate came during a whirlwind rally that found the candidate moving from one contentious aspect of Sunday’s proceedings to another. The New York businessman additionally took the opportunity to repeat a criticized pledge from his debate appearance, saying that, as president, he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton’s handling of confidential materials as secretary of state.
Pausing during his remarks to allow the crowd to chant, “Lock her up,” a common refrain at Trump rallies throughout the campaign cycle, Trump then interjected with his vow.
“Very, very sad,” said Trump. “Special prosecutor, here we come, right? If I win, we’re going to appoint a special prosecutor.”
Trump’s comments at the town hall-style debate in St. Louis were not the first time he has made the promise, but garnered a major amount of attention given the high-profile stage.
“If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation, because there has never been so many lies, so much deception, there has never been anything like it, and we’re going to have a special prosecutor,” said Trump on Sunday.
The statement took a number of observers by surprise, with some commentators comparing the threat to that of a dictator following the debate.