An hour before the second presidential debate in St. Louis, Donald Trump held a press conference for women allegedly abused and victimized by Bill and Hillary Clinton. According to Time, Trump met with Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick, and Kathy Shelton in front of television cameras and a bevy of reporters. The meeting was streamed live on Facebook.
The meeting took place on the sixth floor of the Four Seasons Hotel in St. Louis. Donald Trump, who has not held a press conference in more than a month, refused to address questions pertaining to his sexist video, preferring to proffer a platform for women who had been purportedly abused by the Clintons.
In 1997, Jones had testified in court that Bill Clinton exposed himself, tried to kiss her and asked her to perform oral sex on him in 1991. Clinton’s attorneys had called the claims unfounded but settled the lawsuit out of court, paying $850,000 without an admission of any wrong doing.
Broaddrick alleged that she was raped by Bill Clinton in 1978. However, in a 1997 affidavit related to Paula Jones’ lawsuit, she retracted the statement, denying under oath that there was “no truth to the rumors.” In 1998, under the investigative counsel of Kenneth Starr, she changed her story again, saying nobody coerced her into staying silent. Bill Clinton denied the charge.
In 1993, Willey, a White House volunteer, said Bill Clinton had given her a hug, run his fingers through her hair, and fondled her in his personal study. When she gave her testimony in the Paula Jones lawsuit, her claim of being fondled was not admitted. Clinton denied that the encounter ever took place under oath and in the presence of a grand jury. In the report of independent counsel Kenneth Starr, he concluded that it was difficult to arrive at any conclusion because of the contradicting accounts between Willey and Clinton.
“Willey and President Clinton are the only two direct witnesses to their meeting and their accounts differ substantially on the crucial facts of what occurred.”
Shelton claimed she was raped as a 12-year-old by Thomas Alfred Taylor and that Hillary Clinton had represented him as a public defender in 1975. Shelton said the Democratic Party hopeful portrayed her as a dishonest and disturbed child in court, with a penchant for living out her sexual fantasies. Shelton said that assessment got her rapist off with only a misdemeanor.
Trump hailed the “courageous women, who asked to be here” and given them time to make short statements. Paula Jones campaigned for Trump, urging people to vote for him because he was not like Hillary. Kathy Shelton had shot down claims that Hillary claimed to be in support of women and children because she defended the man who raped her.
Juanita Broaddrick had argued that “actions speak louder than words,” alleging Trump’s unsavory comments from the 2005 tape paled in comparison to Bill Clinton’s alleged rape and the threats of Democratic Party spearhead Hillary Clinton. Kathleen Willey had said she came out to voice her support for Trump because he was the only one capable of making America great again, adding that she cried when he first said it.
Jennifer Palmieri, the communications director for the Clinton campaign camp, had dismissed the gathering of the women and their subsequent appearance at the debate as Trump’s latest antic at the bottom of the pile.
“We’re not surprised to see Donald Trump continue his destructive race to the bottom…Hillary Clinton understands the opportunity in this town hall is to talk to voters…this stunt does not change that.”
Robby Mook, a Clinton supporter said Hillary came to talk issues and how she planned to make a difference in people’s lives, but Trump came with his latest antic to resuscitate his deteriorating drive to the White House by making the campaign “about something else and someone else.”
“Hillary’s steady, she’s strong. She’s not going to get thrown off her game…that’s what Donald tired to do, and he failed.”
Trump chief Kellyanne Conway called the Facebook Live event of Clinton’s victims and their appearance at Sunday’s U.S. presidential debate a “masterful performance.”
She commended the Manhattan billionaire for stopping the bleeding after a calamitous weekend saw the unearthing of a controversial tape where Trump was belittling a woman. Rumors have since gone into overdrive over a slew of controversial material related to Trump’s TV series The Apprentice, where he comments about breast sizes and if female contestants would be good in bed.
According to Conway, Hillary planned to use the sexist tape to deal a deadly blow to the Trump campaign, but Trump cowed her into silence when he invited women that Bill Clinton had allegedly abused and a woman whose rapist was defended by Hillary Clinton.
“He took the case right to Hillary Clinton from the very beginning.”
One of the high points of the Sunday debate was Trump threatening Hillary with prison time over the email scandal.
Do you think the “Clinton victims” was a stunt that worked against Trump or a good strategy that rattled helped keep his campaign alive?
[Featured Image by Jeff Roberson/AP Images]