Trump holds pre-debate news conference with Clinton accusers

From The Washington Post:

The second debate between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton will begin at 9 p.m. Eastern time at Washington University in St. Louis.

About an hour and a half before the debate began, Trump hosted a short — and highly unusual — news conference with four women, all of whom said they had been mistreated by the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton or her husband, former president Bill Clinton. One of the women was Paula Jones, who had accused Bill Clinton of sexual harassment in the early 1990s. Another was Juanita Broaddrick, who at the news conference said Bill Clinton had raped her in 1978.

“Mr. Trump may have said some bad words,” Broaddrick said. “But Bill Clinton raped me and Hillary Clinton threatened me. I don’t think there’s any comparison.”

Broaddrick has made such statements before, but it has never been criminally litigated, and the Clintons deny the accusations.

As Trump began and ended the news conference, reporters shouted questions related to a 2005 video that emerged on Friday, in which Trump spoke about kissing and groping women he met. ““Mr. Trump does your star power allow you to touch women without their consent?” a reporter asked. Trump ignored the questions, then left.

For Trump, the stakes for this debate would have been high in any event: He had seen his poll numbers begin to slide after a weak and rambling performance during the first debate in late September.

Now, however, Trump is in worse shape — and in far greater need of a surprising, campaign-changing performance. That’s due to the release of the 2005, video, first published by The Washington Post. It set off a cascade of criticism from Trump’s fellow Republicans — and led dozens of them to formally renounce the party’s nominee.

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