Openly talking and bragging about groping women is not “locker room talk” as presidential nominee Donald Trump would like you to think.
Opinion: Openly talking and bragging about groping women is not “locker room talk” as presidential nominee Donald Trump would like you to think.
On Sunday night in the USA, Trump squared off with Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in their second debate.
The debate came amidst the repulsive proof of Trumps' sense of entitlement - a tape was released where Trump can be heard talking about kissing women and groping them.
The release of the tape has caused international outrage.
While women – and men – across the world have been all to aware of his views and treatment of women, it's only after the release of the tape that his allies are now pulling back – notable Republicans are now condemning him.
In the recording from 2005 which was released on Friday, Trump told Access Hollywood host Billy Bush he might lunge for a kiss with Days of Our Lives actress Arianne Zucker.
“I’ve gotta use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her,” he said. “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything … Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything,” he was heard saying.
When the tape was made public and caused outrage the world over, he admitted he said this, offering the typical “sorry you were offended” apology. More like sorry he was caught.
How anyone could want someone who boasts about sexually assaulting women as a president is beyond me.
However, at Sunday's debate he categorically denied he actually did assault women.
But the thing is, this is far from an isolated event.
There are many accusations out in the public arena that point to acting on these desires – not just talking about them, as he claimed in the debate.
Just today a federal judge in the USA ordered a status conference hearing after a woman filed a lawsuit claiming Donald Trump raped her when she was 13-years-old in 1994.
In the lawsuit a witness, identified by the pseudonym Tiffany Doe, alleges she saw Trump and billionaire-paedophile Jeffrey Epstein repeatedly rape the plaintiff, identified as Jane Doe, the UK Independent reports.
The complaint claims Epstein hired an unidentified woman to pick up teenage girls to bring to his parties.
The plaintiff's third attempt in filing the lawsuit features a new witness named Joan Doe.
However, Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations.
“As I have said before, the allegations are categorically untrue and an obvious publicity stunt aimed at smearing my client,” Alan Garten, Trump’s attorney, told LawNewz.com.
He called it a “frivolous” filing.
Earlier this year, the New York Times interviewed dozens of women who’ve worked with Donald Trump.
One of the women, Temple Taggart, a former Miss Utah who was 21 when she met Trump in 1997, described Trump behaving exactly as he boasts in the recording.
“He kissed me directly on the lips. I thought, ‘Oh my God, gross.’ He was married to Marla Maples at the time. I think there were a few other girls that he kissed on the mouth. I was like, ‘Wow, that’s inappropriate.’”
This happened repeatedly, she said. In response, Trump told the New York Times he was reluctant to kiss strangers on the lips.
After the recording was released, other women have come forward.
CNN anchor Erin Burnett said her friend had experienced the same behaviour from Trump. “Trump took Tic Tacs, suggested that I take them also. He then leaned in … catching me off guard and kissed me almost on the lips. I was really freaked out,” Burnett quoted her friend as saying.
As Quartz reports, Trump was sued for sexual harassment in 1997. The plaintiff, Jill Harth, who regularly met with Trump in the ‘90s to form a business partnership, described how Trump repeatedly groped her, pushed her against a wall, and tried to kiss her.
In 1993, she said Trump was showing her around his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. “I was admiring the decoration, and next thing I know he’s pushing me against a wall and has his hands all over me,” Harth told the New York Times. “He was trying to kiss me. I was freaking out.”
She said Trump repeatedly tried to grab her and that she once vomited as a defense mechanism. Trump has denied these accusations.
His own ex-wife Ivana also described a sexual assault in a deposition hearing in the ’90s.
Ivana described how her then-husband raped her. She used the word “rape” to describe the assault, where Trump held her down and pulled at her hair, though later retracted her use of the word and said she felt “violated” but didn’t want the word rape “to be interpreted in a literal or criminal sense.”
Back to the debate: when his comments were brought up at on Sunday Trump said: “it's locker room talk – it's one of those things.”
He then went on to rant about terror group ISIS and “taking care” of them.
He tried to move quickly but the moderators brought it back – so Trump tried his second tactic, his “Nobody has more respect for women than I do” quote.
In response Clinton said she has never questioned another Republican presidential nominee's ability to lead – until Trump came along.
“Donald Trump is different. I said starting back in June that he was not fit to be president and commander-in-chief. And many Republicans and independents have said the same thing. What we all saw and heard on Friday was Donald talking about women, what he thinks about women, what he does to women. And he has said that the video doesn’t represent who he is.
"But I think it’s clear to anyone who heard it that it represents exactly who he is. Because we’ve seen this throughout the campaign. We have seen him insult women. We’ve seen him rate women on their appearance, ranking them from one to ten. We’ve seen him embarrass women on TV and on Twitter. We saw him after the first debate spend nearly a week denigrating a former Miss Universe in the harshest, most personal terms.
"So, yes, this is who Donald Trump is.”
Trump, then in response attacked Clinton, saying her husband was “far worse”.
“There’s never been anybody in the history politics in this nation that’s been so abusive to women. So you can say any way you want to say it, but Bill Clinton was abusive to women,” he claimed.
Adding Clinton “attacked those same women and attacked them viciously”. Trump had brought along four women who he said were attacked by the Clintons. One, he claimed Clinton laughed about when she had to defend a man accused of sexually assaulting the woman when she was 12 - when Clinton was a young public defender.
The UK Independents' fact checking on the debate found that Trump's accusation of Clinton laughing at the girl untrue.
In 1975, at the age of 12, Shelton was sexually assaulted in Northwest Arkansas. Clinton was asked by a judge overseeing the case to represent her alleged attacker. After the prosecution lost key evidence, Clinton's client entered a plea to a lesser charge.
In an interview a decade later, Clinton expressed horror at the crime, but was recorded on tape laughing about procedural details of the case. The audio has been seized on by conservative groups looking to attack Clinton's presidential candidacy but does not convey mirth at the girl's fate.
There was also no clear, independent evidence that Hillary Clinton "viciously" attacked women who alleged or confirmed sexual contact with her husband.
The Independent reports that in the1992 Democratic primaries, she was deeply involved in the Clinton campaign's effort to discredit one accuser, actress Gennifer Flowers, who alleged she had a long-running affair with Bill Clinton. Both Clintons acknowledged past troubles in their marriage but sought to undermine Flowers' claims. Bill Clinton later acknowledged in a 1998 court deposition that he had a sexual encounter with Flowers.
Through the election season Trump had also said Hillary Clinton enabled her husband's sexual misdeeds.
On Sunday, Trump twice retweeted Juanita Broaddrick, the woman who in 1999 at the tail end of his presidency, accused Bill Clinton of raping her in the 1970s when he was the attorney general of Arkansas. Clinton denied the allegations through his lawyers at the time, and no legal proceedings were ever brought against him.
Trump held a press conference hours ahead of the debate, where he was flanked by Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick, each previously accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault. Some also accused Hillary Clinton of intimidating them.
But the way Trump has talked about the women before flies in the face of him appearing to care about them now.
As CNN reports, in an interview with CNBC in 1998 and first unearthed by the Washington Post, Trump called Clinton accuser Paula Jones "a loser." In August 1998, Trump again dismissed Jones, and said Bill Clinton was actually the victim.
"I don't necessarily agree with his victims," Trump said to Fox News' Neil Cavuto in a clip uncovered earlier in the year by the "Daily Beast." "His victims are terrible. He is, he is really a victim himself. But he put himself in that position."
"These people are just, I don't know, where he met them - where he found them," Trump continued. "But the whole group — it's truly an unattractive cast of characters. Linda Tripp, Lucianne Goldberg, I mean, this woman, I watch her on television. She is so bad. The whole group, Paula Jones, Lewinsky, it's just a really unattractive group. I'm not just talking about physical."