Donald Trump responded to Hillary Clinton’s accusations about his treatment of women during Monday night’s debate by patting himself on the back for not smearing her about Bill’s infidelities. So now, Fox News has begun doing it for him.
After Clinton brought up Trump’s smears of former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, as “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping,” Trump said the following:
TRUMP: But you want to know the truth? I was going to say something extremely rough to Hillary, to her family, and I said to myself, “I can’t do it. I just can’t do it. It’s inappropriate. It’s not nice.”
On The Kelly File last night, Megyn Kelly was pretty tough on Trump's record on women with his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway. But then Kelly said this:
KELLY: Well, that’s the interesting thing about him Kellyanne, is that he does insult women a lot. He insults men a lot. But by all accounts when it comes to hiring and promotions, I haven’t heard one person say, he lets gender interfere with his promotions or pay or anything like that.
I wonder if Kelly will retract that statement tonight, given that we now know Trump tried to replace female employees at one of his golf clubs when he didn't find them attractive.
Then later, in a discussion with Trump supporter David Wohl, Kelly all but invited him to start attacking Hillary Clinton over Bill, while feigning neutrality with the kind of disingenuousness Trump would have loved:
KELLY: David, let me start with you though on this. Because, you know, contrast that Donald Trump who said Bill Clinton’s affairs, it was no big deal. It was unimportant. It was nonsense. You know, the attacks on him, the attempt to impeach him and so on. Versus today with, you know, I could have hit him. I could have hit her on his—you know, how do you square the two?
DAVID WOHL, TRUMP SUPPORTER: Well, the issue about Monica Lewinsky was relatively minor compared to the pre-Lewinsky allegations Juanita Broaddrick, Paul Jones, Kathleen Willey. Megyn, those are allegations that go from sexual harassment to rape. And it is not so much what Bill did now, it’s what Hillary did. She established a war room to deal with these women who she said were engaging in a bimbo attack or a bimbo assault, something to that effect was a bimbo eruption.
And she dealt it with that way. And you think about that, Megyn. She tried to destroy women who made these types of allegations against her husband. Not because they were allegations that weren’t credible but because it was politically expedient, Megyn. Look at her website, she said, all women who make these type of allegations should be believed, as soon as she found out that got up there, she deleted it. It is hypocrisy, it’s inconsistency and it’s unbecoming of a president.
If Kelly really cared about how Trump squared the two, she would have asked why, then, if Hillary was so awful to women, were she and Bill invited to Trump’s third wedding, in 2005, long after any of the incidents Wohl mentioned. Nor did Kelly question the propriety of Trump threatening to bring Gennifer Flowers to the debate in retaliation for Mark Cuban saying he'd sit in the front row and bait Trump. In fact, Kelly didn't challenge a word as she let Wohl go after Hillary Clinton.
But Kelly hammered the other guest, Melissa Mark-Viverito, the New York City Council speaker and Hillary Clinton surrogate, on Wohl’s point. Unfortunately, Mark-Viverito was woefully inept to deal with what she should have seen coming:
KELLY: But wait. Listen, Miss Speaker. [Clinton] is hitting [Trump] relentlessly through ads and on a presidential debate stage. You saw, she was very sure to get it in on his treatment of women and the comments he’s made about women. Why is it not perfectly fair game for him to turn around and say, gotcha. You too did some things, Madam Secretary.
MARK-VIVERITO: Hillary Clinton has been attacked for more than 30 years. This issue has been discussed and debated.
KELLY: Oh, come on. See, that’s a dodge. I mean, David, that’s not going to work.
MARK-VIVERITO: That is not a dodge.
KELLY: That’s not going to work.
Kelly did go back to Wohl about Trump’s extramarital affairs. “So there is some risk to him in going after Bill Clinton as an adulterer and as Hillary Clinton and woman who would understandably be displaced to find that out,” Kelly said. But she did nothing to point out that Trump has a much longer record of misogyny that is hardly erased by pointing fingers at Clinton.
And surprise! Sean Hannity did the same thing in the next hour. In a discussion with Newt Gingrich, Hannity “asked” whether Clinton’s attack over Machado didn’t open a door to going after Hillary over Bill:
HANNITY: You know, does it now also open up a door? You actually complimented Donald Trump because he didn’t go there at the end of the debate. ’m not sure if I could have done it. You probably have more discipline than me. I give you credit. You’re an elder statesman. I’m a bombastic talk show host. I probably would have said it.
I wouldn’t have controlled myself. [...]
Anyway, one of Hillary’s closest friends—and Hillary Clinton credited Bill Clinton with trying to break away from Lewinsky. That was her mindset. And she called Monica a narcissistic looney-toon!
Now, if we’re going to now examine these things—and we could also go a step further because Christopher Hitchins, the late Christopher Hitchins, quoted Sidney Blumenthal as saying what people need to understand is Monica Lewinsky was stalker, an unstable minx who’s been threatening Clinton and telling that—that if he didn’t have sex with him, he’d (sic) say it anyway.
So it’s sort of like here we go again. You’ve got—just like in the birther case, Sidney Blumenthal involved and Mark Penn’s memo involved, and then they deny, you know, plausible deniability, but there really was a smear attempt against Monica, against Gennifer, against Paula, James Carville saying drag a dollar through a trailer park.
Is this now—are we going here now because she started this?
To his sort-of credit, Gingrich, a serial adulterer himself, didn’t want to go there and didn’t think Trump should.
But I guarantee you, this “question” will be raised again and again on Fox until someone in the Trump campaign realizes it won’t help.
Watch the discussions below, from the September 28, 2016 The Kelly File and Hannity shows.
(Transcripts above via FoxNews.com for The Kelly File and Hannity)
Did Clinton really attack Bill’s other women? Good for her if true. I wouldn’t hold it against her, ever. Ya know why and I bet I’m not the only child of divorce with a similar story?
I remember when I was ten and II’m fifty nine now, my mom threw me in the car, tore up the road at top speed and parked the car outside his girlfriends apartment and laid on the horn until people all came to the windows to look out. When she saw my dad finally look out and she was sure she saw him, she drove off. The next day, she packed my serial philanderer dad’s bags and put them, and paper bags full of assorted other possessions, on the front porch for all the neighbors and all the cars driving by to see. She did it after he left for work so that they sat there all day.
A blow for him since he was the superintendent of schools, in a small, four schools then, but rapidly growing school district in South Jersey that had been founded by Quakers 300 plus years ago at that time and was still heavily influenced by their moral values, not to mention that a lot of Quakers were on the school board. He found out it’s not nice to screw your female teachers. He was asked to resign.
My mom got $180. child support bi-weekly, a lot of money in ’68, and my dad was only ever able to get a principals job down at the Jersey shore, sixty miles from where we lived.
Do your worst Donald. Hillary is more than a match for you. She’ll chew your ass up and spit you out.
And who can’t argue to some small degree Megyn’s right? Hillary stood by Bill. She fought against his accusers. So surrogates please don’t look stupid and weak trying to dodge the issue. It only encourages the trolls like The Donald and Megyn.
However, the problem for Trump – who’s an idiot – in threatening to attack Hillary over Bill’s infidelities is manifold.
The most obvious trap for Trump is Hillary was acting up in a period of intense personal crisis and emotional distress at the depths of troubles in her marriage. His vicious attacks will humanize her and make her a sympathetic subject. Something she hasn’t been able to pull off on her own. My advice to Hillary – like she’s listening to me – is take this road in the debates.
Further, as pointed out during Megyn’s crap analysis, there’s the fundamental hypocrisy Trump is not only thrice married and a man who bragged about cheating and a man who trades in trophy wives when they get too old but he’s even talked about having an open marriage. Fundamentalist will love that getting aired. It even can be argued, in making her marriage work through crisis, she’s the better Christian than Trump who can’t even quote Bible passages correctly.
Finally, all this mud-slinging turns off the independents Trump hopes to woo. The Clinton haters who love walling in this sort of mud – that’d be your typical Fox fanboy and fangirl – will get huge thrills up their legs re-litigating these 30 year old allegations. But that’s not the person Trump needs to motivate to vote his way at this late a date. Clinton haters would vote for Satan over Hillary.