Donald Trump has issued a video apology for his lewd comments from a hot mic in 2005, now threatening to destroy his candidacy. But moments after his apology, he made an attack on the Clintons that mimicked the defense Sean Hannity put forward for Trump earlier in the evening.
In case you missed it, the video, released Friday afternoon by The Washington Post, showed Trump crudely talking about having “moved on” a married woman “like a bitch” would, but failing. Normally, Trump said, “When you’re a star, they let you do it. …”Grab them by the p---y. You can do anything.”
You can watch the full video below.
LOUDON: Sean, I was thinking tonight, I wish we had one of your town halls that you used to do when you had all of the people in a room, because it would be interesting to ask a men full of—a roomful of men if they have never said anything remotely like that, aside from maybe pastors and priests, right, in their lives, because I think that was locker room talk. Mr. Trump has apologized.
And then when you hold that up and look at what Hillary Clinton has done—look in Mr. Trump’s case, in the entire record of his life, Sean, no one was raped, nobody has died, no illegal servers were put in his—I mean, the list goes on.
HANNITY: This is important because we’re talking about his words and then we’re talking about Bill Clinton’s actions and Bill Clinton’s actions and Hillary Clinton’s defense of him. Not only defending him but also smearing women that made allegations. … While he was in the White House, she went to bat to call Monica a “narcissistic loony tune.” So all of these people saying, “Hannity, you’ve got to condemn Trump,” alright, his words were wrong, but Bill Clinton’s actions are far worse.
Hannity, who has reportedly advised Trump, repeated variations on this “Trump’s words were wrong but Bill Clinton’s actions were worse” theme other times during his show.
Then, when Trump released his statement, he sounded a lot like Hannity.
First, Trump unequivocally said he was wrong, which Hannity had also acknowledged (transcript via Crooks and Liars):
TRUMP: I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more-than-a-decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.
… I pledge to be a better man tomorrow and will never, ever let you down.
Then, after calling the matter a “distraction” from “the important issues we’re facing today,” Trump pivoted to attacking the Clintons, in just the way that had been heard on Fox:
TRUMP: I’ve said some foolish things, but there’s a big difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims.
Trump concluded his tape by saying, “We will discuss this more in the coming days. See you at the debate on Sunday.”
It should be a humdinger.
Hillary was a junior lawyer and the judge told her to handle the case. She had to take the case and from that time she was honor bound to mount the best possible defense. Wouldn’t surprise me if that were not the fate of many a junior lawyer.
I have known plenty of criminal attorneys and none of them supported crime in any way.
Let’s be honest about the Trump issues. We’re not just talking about how he said the wrong words or insulted someone here or there. We’re discussing a consistent pattern of nastiness and viciousness that he has demonstrated over the last several decades. From the time he made headlines for his Marla Maples affair to the present day, he has always been known for this kind of behavior. We just didn’t have to see an audio/video demonstration by him in the flesh before. He has been known for crude behavior toward women and crude statements to and about them for decades.
Let’s also remember that this bombshell tape isn’t from 1975 when he was a young guy who didn’t know better. It isn’t even from “a long time ago” and one has to wonder where Trump got the idea that such a concept would sell for this situation. This tape is from 2005 – Trump was nearly 60 years old when he did this. Are we meant to believe that after he turned 60, he suddenly found maturity that he has yet to demonstrate even a single time during this entire campaign? Seriously?
And it’s not just the insults and the childlike tantrums he’s been throwing around during the campaign. Yes, the comments have been embarrassing – even vulgar, as he’s again demonstrated in this tape. But he’s not just “saying words”. He’s been engaging in racist BEHAVIOR. Stirring up birther rumors isn’t just “sticks and stones can break my bones but names can never hurt me”. Announcing a plan to screen Muslims from the US, and repeatedly fanning racist flames about building a wall against Mexico and forcing them to pay for it is not just “saying words”. Encouraging violence at his rallies is not just “saying words”. If you scream “Fire!” in a crowded theater, that’s not just “saying words”. Hate Speech isn’t just “words” – it’s deliberate action, and Donald Trump does not get to hide behind the right wing notion that he has no accountability for repeatedly voicing hatred, racism and sexism.
The actual content of this video shows Trump enjoying his status as an entitled rich person who can get whatever he wants because he’s rich and a celebrity. Because he was in sympathetic company, he was happy to openly state that he enjoys what he sees as his status. The creepy part of the video isn’t just the casual sexism and objectification he enjoys – it’s the moment where he and Bush insist on having the actress give them each a hug. She has no idea that they’ve been making comments like this, including about her body, literally right before greeting her. It’s a skin-crawling moment, and Trump is clearly enjoying it in the video, as is Bush. It’s not just “words”, and Trump doesn’t get to dismiss the situation as something that small. On a larger scale, it’s the same meme of entitlement that he used to parlay his business failures (which weren’t self-financed) into a tax break of nearly a billion dollars that we know about, so that he wouldn’t even have to pay income taxes while raking in millions for himself each year.
And then we get to this bizarre right wing idea that somehow the Clintons’ “actions” are worse than Trump’s decades of bad behavior. I note that the right does seem to be running out of material. If the best they can do is to, yet again, bring up the old and discredited Bill Clinton smears, they truly are in panic mode. Hillary Clinton will likely not dignify this with a back and forth, but we should be very clear that the right wingers are not discussing “actions” by Hillary Clinton or Bill Clinton. They’re attempting to raise discredited accusations that were fully dealt with over 20 years ago. Broaddrick and Willey both had their accounts examined at the time, when they were barely relevant. Both women made inconsistent statements and repeatedly contradicted themselves. If the right wing has some new evidence that Bill Clinton is guilty of sexual assault or of being a “sexual predator”, let’s see this new evidence. Because they weren’t able to get any of this to stick when he was President. All they’ve been able to do is peddle the same nasty rumors they picked up from the likes of Rush Limbaush. They’ve repeated these lies and smears for over 20 years and the repetition does not make them true. What’s annoying is that the constant repetition over such a long period has confused a lot of people who only know that they always hear these stories. After people who aren’t really paying attention to this stuff keep hearing a story like that for years, they assume there must be something to it, rather than it just being the same rumors being thrown around for the umpteenth time. I imagine that Limbaugh and Hannity and their ilk are proud of the fact that they’ve confused so many people. They literally have repeated a lie so many times that they’ve gotten a lot of people to accept its basis – that somehow the Clintons and particularly Hillary are skilled liars and deceivers and probably criminals too. But the reality is that the right wing is just repeating lies and rumors and innuendos. None of which translates to “bad actions” by the Clintons.
It’s interesting that Hannity wants to yet again bring up Hillary Clinton being required by a judge to defend a rapist in court. He wants to yet again bring up her rueful comments about that in a later interview as though she was somehow proud of it. The reality is that she was mandated to take this case even when she asked to be relieved of it. This doesn’t make her a bad person or an evil person. It makes her an attorney who was assigned a case and didn’t have the luxury of refusing to do her job. (And Hannity never discusses that this particular case had a lot of complications he never mentions…)
I’m also wondering how Fox News thinks the anticlimactic WikiLeaks dump is somehow an equivalent story with Trump’s nastiness exploding in public. Assuming the WikiLeaks materials are accurate, all they show is Hillary Clinton discussing political reality behind closed doors. I don’t see anything in the “bombshells” Fox News thinks they have that actually shows Clinton saying anything particularly vexing. Maybe that she was frustrated with Sanders voters who were and are accusing her of everything under the sun because they didn’t want to deal with what actually happens in elections and politics. But, again assuming the leaked materials are correct, her discussion about politicians working out their agreements in private is not some strange horrifying conspiracy. It’s how bills get made and passed. There’s a political calculus that goes with this work. Both right wingers and liberals have worked together to keep the government functioning – at least up to the current situation where the right wing has steadfastly refused to do their jobs for years. And yes, there are times where opposing politicians will agree to do something together, knowing that the opposition will mount a token vote to say no. Idea being that everyone wants the bill to go through but the opposition must cast “No” votes to not get barbecued by their constituents back home. The opening of Cuba is just such an example. They all agree to let it go through, but a bunch of the congresspeople have to go through the motions of outwardly slagging the move or they’ll get primaried in the next election cycle. That’s not a craven action – it’s simply the reality of politics. If Hillary Clinton understands this, and obviously she and Bill Clinton are well versed in it, that makes her a more effective politician and would make her a better President. You would think that Donald Trump would understand this as someone who had a book written for him called “The Art of the Deal.” A truly well negotiated contract or bill requires everyone to give something – it’s not just the right wing saying “We get everything we want and everyone else loses”.
So I truly hope that Donald Trump does bring this nonsensical approach up tomorrow night. It would only provide an even simpler way for Hillary Clinton to summarize the major damage that he has done to his own campaign and his candidacy just by being himself. And I hope he follows the other right wing idea of ignoring questions from moderators and the public to just repeatedly pivot to more assertions that he’s going to “fix the economy”. All that will do is get him a reminder from the moderators that he needs to answer the questions that have been presented to him, which would result in yet another tantrum, which can’t help a situation where he’s tipping farther and farther upside down.
He doesn’t mind if you don’t like or agree with him, but to laugh at him is what is destroying his massive ego.
Sean, get off of the Clintons.
Trump has banned at least 15 media outlets, including National review, N.Y. Times, Washington post for accurately reporting what he perceived to be negative news about him.
But he’s named the head of what a Breitbart editor called the “platform for white supremacists” as his campaign CEO.
What Trump and his supporters must be worried about now is if there’s more out there that we haven’t heard yet.
The net result is Hair Hitler earned an election cycle reputation for being an insulting demagogue. Outrageous vomit like this open mic moment only reinforce this impression with the undecideds he needs to get over the electoral hump.
Hillary, Bill, Monica, et al are old news long since factored in. The Donald and Fox News relitigating this only stir up the Trumpets already agitated by Sean’s talking points.
If Trump makes good his threats and rages over this in the next debate, Hillary should play the hurt wife dedicated to her husband she loves who held together her 1st and only marriage.
Fuck them all.