In early August, Donald Trump suffered a drop in the polls in the wake of an especially bad week, which included him feuding with a Muslim Gold Star family whose son died fighting for the U.S. Army in Iraq. For the Record’s week in review summarized that week as “Trump hit rock bottom and then basically tried to dig to China.”
We didn’t think things could get much worse. Boy, were we wrong! This week, Trump hit rock bottom, dug to China and then set the hole on fire.
Slew of accusations against Trump
On Friday, more women came out with accusations against Trump for sexual misconduct. Kristin Anderson told The Washington Post that Trump had groped her under her skirt in the early 90s while she was sitting next to him at a nightclub. Later Friday, a former Apprentice contestant said Trump kissed her and groped her during a meeting about a potential job. They were just two of multiple women to come forward this week with accusations against the Republican presidential nominee.
Trump and his campaign have vehemently denied the accusations. During a rally Friday, Trump called the accusations “totally and completely fabricated” and said the women were just making things up to become famous. He also seemed to insult the appearance of one of his accusers, a woman who said he groped her on an airplane three decades ago, when he said “believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you.”
Trump has threatened to sue at least The New York Times, to which the newspaper’s lawyer basically replied “bring it.” And his wife, Melania, demanded People magazine publish a retraction and apologize for a story that alleged Trump assaulted a People reporter who was writing a story about the couple. But Melania’s demand had nothing to do with the assault allegations. Melania was just unhappy about a section of the piece that said the reporter ran into her on the street and the two had a pleasant conversation.
“The two are not friends and were never friends or even friendly,” the letter demanding the retraction stated.
One-fourth of GOP elected officials don’t back their nominee
Last Friday, a 2005 Access Hollywood video was released that included Trump saying that women would let him do anything, including grabbing their genitals, because he was a star. Trump apologized for the remarks but maintains it was just “locker room banter.” The release of the tape sent his campaign scrambling and forced even those backing him to denounce his comments.
The USA TODAY Network conducted a survey of the Republican governors, senators and House members and found that 26% of them are not endorsing Trump. While some of them were “Never Trumpers” all along, many pulled their support for Trump following the release of the video.
On Monday, Ryan announced he wouldn’t defend or campaign for Trump ahead of the election, although Ryan didn’t officially withdraw his endorsement of Trump.
Trump was not thrilled at the rebuke. On Tuesday, he unleashed his wrath on Ryan and other members of his party who he felt had spurned him. At one point he tweeted: “Our very weak and ineffective leader, Paul Ryan, had a bad conference call where his members went wild at his disloyalty.”
Trump spun the denunciations by Congress members as a good thing, declaring that he could finally do what he wanted with the election now that the “shackles” were off.
Wikileaks’ drip, drip of hacked Clinton emails
Trump has sucked up a lot of the oxygen this week, but a steady stream of hacked emails from Wikileaks has sent reporters digging through the Clinton team’s dirty laundry as well. Every day this week, emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta have been released. The Clinton campaign has neither confirmed nor denied whether the emails are real, but they have accused Russia of doing the hacking in an effort to help Trump.
So far, there haven’t been any major bombshells in the emails, but there are definitely some cringe-worthy moments.
One email by Clinton campaign aides mocked some Catholics and evangelical Christians. Another raised questions about the impartiality of then a vice chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile during the Democratic primary. Brazile forwarded a question to be used in a town hall to the Clinton campaign. (It also was strange that Brazile had the question ahead of time in the first place.) One email categorized two high-profile Latino politicians who Clinton was trying to get an endorsement from as “needy Latinos.” And another email had a campaign staffer discussing conversations he had with Department of Justice officials as the DOJ dealt with the timing of their public release of Clinton’s State Department emails.
Here are some more details of some of the juicier emails.
News from the trail
• Trump cancels “Hannity” appearance as show hosts Clinton accusers (USA TODAY)
• Melania Trump demands retraction from People on story alleging assault (USA TODAY)
• Clinton courts Trump’s core: White men (USA TODAY)
• Michelle Obama on Trump comments: They’ve “shaken me to my core” (USA TODAY)
• Tim Kaine: “They call me Lil Kaine not Lil Wayne” (USA TODAY)
Breaking: Ben Carson could use some work as a surrogate
Carson, the retired neurosurgeon and former GOP primary competitor of Trump’s, often appears on TV in support of his former rival. On Friday, he did so to discuss the allegations of sexual misconduct against the Republican nominee. In a heated interview on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe,’ Carson repeatedly asked for BBC News reporter Katty Kay’s microphone to be turned off when she asked him if he thought the women making accusations against Trump were lying. He finally responded: “It doesn’t matter whether they’re lying or not.”
The full interview is worth watching.
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