It is obvious that Donald Trump’s comments about women will be the focus of the first question in tonight’s presidential debate. And every indication is that Trump plans to make Bill Clinton, and Hillary’s handling of the fallout from Bill Clinton’s adultery and other misbehavior, the issue in his response.
Yeah . . . there’s just one little problem with that. The Trumpmeister has praised Hillary on this exact issue in the past:
I think she’s gone through terrible times. I think she’s been through more than any woman should have to bear, everything public, I mean women go through this on a private basis and can’t take it, she’s on the front page of every newspaper every week with what went on in Washington. I think she’s a wonderful woman.
But at least he was upset at Bill, right? Um, not so much. Here’s The Donald from July 2012:
Smart move by the Democrats to have Pres. @billclinton play a key role in their convention.
Billy Bush is scheduled to be in his anchor seat for the 9 a.m. hour of the Today show on Monday, NBC executives confirm.
He will address his vulgar comments made during a 2005 hot mic conversation with Donald Trump for an Access Hollywood segment, which Bush was then hosting.
“The plan is for him to have a chance to apologize,” said an NBC source.
At this point, NBC executives are clearly hoping that Bush, who just joined the show this year from Access Hollywood, can recover from the scandal that has imperiled Trump’s presidential campaign and the Republican party as a whole.
You know, if some jackass TV anchor was a pig on a hot mic and he wants to apologize for it, fine. Who cares? The man is not running for office.
Here’s the real thing Billy Bush and NBC News should be apologizing for: holding on to this information for so long.
Think about it. Billy Bush is a host of NBC’s TODAY Show. Let me make this very clear: the TODAY show is part of NBC News. Just to drive the point home, let me quote from NBC Universal’s own Web site:
NBC News is a global leader in news across all broadcast and digital platforms. Its leading and award-winning television news broadcasts include NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, TODAY, Meet the Press and Dateline, as well as primetime specials and breaking news reports.
Got that? What this means, ladies and gentlemen, is that a host of an NBC News program had game-changing information about a major-party candidate for the U.S. presidency and said nothing. Billy Bush knew Donald Trump had talked about sexually assaulting women on a regular basis. What’s more, he had this information since 2005 — meaning he had it since June 2015, when Donald Trump got into the race.
And he said nothing.
So we’re told that Billy Bush is going to apologize tomorrow. Lovely. But if I can quote my friend Andrew Breitbart from one of the last tweets he ever sent: apologize for WHAT?
Is Billy Bush going to apologize for being a misogynist pig? Or is he going to apologize for withholding critical information from the voters?
If you ask me, the latter apology is the apology that matters — and that apology is owed to the American public . . . by NBC News.
UPDATE: Looks like Billy may have gotten the Brian Williams treatment:
NBC spokesman says Billy won’t be on air tomorrow, no news on when he’ll be back
In the avalanche of stories about Donald Trump’s piggish behavior, one story deserves more attention: Trump’s boasting about deliberately walking into a room of naked beauty contestants, apparently without any warning.
CNN published several recordings yesterday of Trump on Howard Stern’s show, talking crudely about women in various different ways. The title of CNN’s article was Donald Trump to Howard Stern: It’s okay to call my daughter a ‘piece of ass’ — and that is certainly a relevant and newsworthy topic which was ably covered by Brandon Morse here. But because there was so much information in the CNN story, relatively few people have focused on Trump’s boasting about how he “gets away with” deliberately bursting in on naked women:
Co-host Robin Quivers then asked Trump if sleeping with the contestants could be construed as a conflict of interest.
“It could be a conflict of interest,” Trump said. “But, you know, it’s the kind of thing you worry about later, you tend to think about the conflict a little bit later on.”
Stern then put on a fake foreign accent, saying that “some of these foreign girls” say hello “with vagina.”
“Well, what you could also say is that, as the owner of the pageant, it’s your obligation to do that,” Trump said, before discussing how he got away with going backstage when the contestants were naked.
“Well, I’ll tell you the funniest is that before a show, I’ll go backstage and everyone’s getting dressed, and everything else, and you know, no men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it,” Trump said. “You know, I’m inspecting because I want to make sure that everything is good.”
“You know, the dresses. ‘Is everyone okay?’ You know, they’re standing there with no clothes.
‘Is everybody okay?’ And you see these incredible looking women, and so, I sort of get away with things like that. But no, I’ve been very good,” he added.
Listen at 2:24 in this recording:
Like the “grab them by the p***y” comment, this is indicative of Trump doing more than talking like a young and crude guy. It’s evidence that he actually engaged in behavior that most women would consider creepy and perhaps even threatening.
It would not surprise me to see this specifically brought up by Hillary Clinton in tonight’s debate.
Senator Mike Lee appeared on Meet the Press this morning to press his case that Donald Trump should withdraw from the race. As always, Senator Lee was very effective and well-spoken. He made the case against Hillary Clinton, and extended an olive branch to Trump supporters. But his central case was that he doesn’t think Donald Trump can win:
CHUCK TODD: Anything that Rudy Giuliani said there that would make you reconsider your support for Donald Trump or give him time tonight to show real contrition and change your mind?
SEN. MIKE LEE: No, but there is something that Mr. Giuliani said that I think was significant which is that Hillary Clinton is, in fact, a flawed candidate — a deeply flawed candidate. So flawed, in fact, that I think the Democratic Party ought to be taking steps to replace her with someone else. For whatever reason, they’ve not. The Democratic Party has chosen to be the party of the Personality Cult during the presidential election cycle. I don’t think we ought to follow that path. The path I would suggest is a path that would bring Republicans together.
Bring together those grassroots activists who have made Donald Trump so successful, who have had this very persuasive argument that the Washington political establishment of both parties has failed them and that we need a new leader, a Republican leader who can win, who can defeat Hillary Clinton.
That’s what unites us more than anything else as Republicans is the fact that the Washington political establishment is broken and Hillary Clinton needs to be defeated. We need a candidate who can do that and I would like to see the Republican Party identify such a candidate and make that change.
CHUCK TODD: You know, you identified flaws with Donald Trump and were willing to speak out about it before many others were. A lot of people are now joining you over the last 48 hours and a lot of Democrats and even some voters in the middle are going to say, “Why now? Why did you wait ’til now? The evidence was there for months, arguably, years.” And certainly, for instance, you, Senator Lee, you showed the judgment of not supporting him a year ago and stuck with it. How should other Republicans who have suddenly decided, “Okay, I’m not supporting him now,” answer that question?
SEN. MIKE LEE: Well, I think people have to consider the totality of the evidence. There were some like me who had raised questions in light of warning signs early on. There were a lot of others, who wanted to be persuaded, who hoped that they might be persuaded between now and November.
What was released less than 48 hours ago was less than persuasive. In fact, it turned a lot of people off to the point that I have serious doubts now about Mr. Trump’s ability to defeat Hillary Clinton. In fact, I don’t think he can. Now there is a way here for Mr. Trump to have a legacy in this election cycle and for his supporters, who are really energetic and who have done a whole lot of good, as far as expanding the party, to have a lasting legacy that could mean something here.
And that is for Donald Trump to step aside and for the Republican Party to find a candidate who can bring together all the elements within the Republican Party and defeat Hillary Clinton in November. That’s what we want to do, that’s what we need to do now.
Mike Lee is worried about the Republican party and the good of the nation — and Donald Trump is worried about . . . Donald Trump. As reported by Jay Caruso earlier this afternoon, Trump’s crisis strategy has been to tell his supporters to attack any Republicans who have criticized him in the last 48 hours. The potential damage to the House and Senate — and to Republicans’ ability to confirm good judges and pass a Republican agenda — come second to Trump’s own ego.
I, for one, am shocked. (I am not actually shocked.) But I think it’s important, as we watch this trainwreck unfold before our eyes, to remember the good men like Mike Lee who have consistently and honorably tried to avert this disaster — for the sake of our country and our founding principles.
The recent Hillary email dump shows the Clinton machine talking about “placing” stories with “friendly” journalists. And one reporter in particular stood out as especially “friendly” (h/t to The Intercept):
You got that? “We have had her tee up stories for us before and never been disappointed. . . [W]e can . . . do the most shaping by going to Maggie.”
It has been his pride and his palace, a soaring black skyscraper overlooking Manhattan that seemed to match Donald J. Trump’s ambition and ostentatiousness.
But Trump Tower, since Friday afternoon, has become a kind of lonely fortress for its most famous occupant, who holes up inside, increasingly isolated and upset, denounced almost every hour by another Republican official.
Mr. Trump was asked to stay away from a party gathering Saturday afternoon in Wisconsin, where Speaker Paul D. Ryan and other state luminaries took the stage, a striking rebuke that left the Republican nominee for president with no place to go on a Saturday 31 days before the election.
So he remained inside his enormous penthouse apartment on the 66th floor, and his corporate suite 40 stories below, for almost all of Friday and Saturday.
At times he was joined by his small circle of loyalists, who arrived to prepare him for Sunday night’s debate against Hillary Clinton but instead spent much of the time trying to figure out how to undo the damage wrought by the surfacing of an 11-year-old video recording on which he can be heard gleefully describing pushing himself on women and sexually assaulting them.
The language conveys, forcefully and colorfully, the precise narrative that Hillary Clinton is trying to push: Trump’s support is fading, he is beleaguered from all sides, and the election is essentially over. And who knows? That may be true. But, as you evaluate whether Trump is toast, you might just keep in mind that the people pushing that narrative are unrepentant leftists, doing their level best to aid Hillary — and earning extra scoops, and Clinton’s gratitude, for their friendliness.
By the way, all the best people love Haberman’s piece. Almost as if they are pushing the same narrative:
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