Donald Trump has been accused by several women of sexual assault and abuse. Many of these stories are backed up by witnesses, whom the women told of the alleged assaults over the course of many years. In Wednesday’s final presidential debate, Trump was asked about all of these women and why they might possibly be coming forward now and making up these stories, as he alleges.
His answer was to say that the women were seeking fame, or being put up to the allegations by his opponent Hillary Clinton. Bizarrely, he cited a video by conservative provocateur James O’Keefe—some of whose past sting videos have been shown to be manipulative and heavily edited—to prove that the Clinton dirty tricks machine was behind the assault accusations. The video demonstrated no such thing. Here is what Trump said:
Well, first of all, those stories have been largely debunked. Those people, I don’t know those people. I have a feeling how they came. I believe it was her campaign that did it just like if you look at what came out today on the clips where I was wondering what happened with my rally in Chicago and other rallies where we had such violence. She’s the one and Obama that caused the violence. They hired people. They paid them $1,500, and they’re on tape saying be violent, cause fights, do bad things. I would say the only way—because those stories are all totally false. I have to say that, and I didn’t even apologize to my wife who is sitting right here because I didn’t do anything. I didn’t know any of these women. I didn’t see these women. These women, the woman on the plane, I think they want either fame or her campaign did it. And I think it’s her campaign because what I saw what they did, which is a criminal act, by the way, where they’re telling people to go out and start fistfights and violence—I’ll tell you what. In particular, in Chicago, people were hurt and people could have killed in that riot. That was now all on tape started by her. I believe, Chris, that she got these people to step forward. If it wasn’t, they get their 10 minutes of fame, but they were all totally—it was all fiction. It was lies and it was fiction.
There are so many problems with this answer. Some of these women did actually know Trump, so that part of it is untrue. And there is literally zero evidence for the conspiracy theory that Clinton somehow coerced all of these women—and many other witnesses—to come forward now to describe the alleged sexual abuse by Trump. Finally, it all came out after Trump was caught on tape describing the exact type of abuse that he now is being accused of committing and now denies.