Shortly before the second presidential debate started, Donald Trump held a jaw-dropping “news conference” with three women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault (and a third whose accused rapist was represented by Hillary Clinton). One of those women was Paula Jones, a former Arkansas state employee who sued Bill Clinton for sexual harassment.
Trump is now trying to portray himself as the champion for the women, yet he didn’t feel the same way in 1998. “Paula Jones is a loser, but the fact is that she may be responsible for bringing down a president indirectly,” Trump said in an interview with Chris Matthews on August 28, 1998. The interview took place mere days after Bill Clinton acknowledged he had an inappropriate relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
Jones had filed a lawsuit against Clinton, saying he had made inappropriate sexual advances toward her while he was governor of Arkansas. That suit was settled for $850,000 with no admission of guilt.
And a little bonus on what Trump used to think about Bill Clinton’s accusers is that he once pretty much said the only reason why the then-president got in trouble was because Lewinsky was ugly. “It’s sad because he would go down as a great President if he had not had this scandal,” Trump said in a 1999 interview with Maureen Dowd. “People would have been more forgiving if he’d had an affair with a really beautiful woman of sophistication. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe were on a different level.”