Update: Donald Trump’s campaign says that an interview, where Trump reportedly apologized to the Serbian people for the Clinton-era Kosovo campaign, is a hoax crafted by a Serbian media organization.
There was no Trump interview on Serbia,” a Trump campaign spokewsoman said. “I don’t know where that came from. I never facilitated any kind of interview with a Serbian reporter.”
Donald Trump lashed out at the media and Hillary Clinton Thursday in a fiery campaign speech, denying fresh allegations that he inappropriately touched several women.
The claims surfaced Wednesday, in a wave of well-timed media reports all hostile to the Trump campaign. Wednesday morning, social media buzzed with allegations that Trump routinely walked in on young Miss USA contestants in their dressing rooms. Wednesday afternoon, CBS News reported that Trump had made inappropriate comments about a 10-year-old girl.
Wednesday evening, the New York Times published accounts from two women who said Trump sexually assaulted them — one on a flight and one in an elevator at her place of employment. A similar account from a different woman appeared in the Palm Beach Post, the hometown newspaper of Trump’s Florida residence..
Late Wednesday night, People magazine published an account by one of its own correspondents, alleging that Trump behaved lewdly toward her while she was interviewing him in one of his residences — with a pregnant Melania upstairs.
Trump’s team was quick to fire off a cease and desist to the Times, claiming the story was false.
The phony story in the failing @nytimes is a TOTAL FABRICATION. Written by same people as last discredited story on women. WATCH!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2016
Thursday morning, the Times fired back.
David McCraw, NYT lawyer, responds to Trump’s letter. pic.twitter.com/ziPBCIjkvP
— Sydney Ember (@melbournecoal) October 13, 2016
But so did Donald Trump, in a fiery speech in Palm Beach. Trump ripped into his accusers, the media and Hillary Clinton. He laid out each of the accusations against him in detail to the crowd, then said that the claims and allegations were “fabricated.”
— CNN (@CNN) October 13, 2016
“I will not lie to you. These false attacks are absolutely hurtful,” Trump tells the crowd at Florida rally. https://t.co/hQAeNr8WYf
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) October 13, 2016
Trump notes he is rich and powerful, and also why wouldn't the women who alleged he assaulted them come out publicly pic.twitter.com/DV67lI8g8c
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) October 13, 2016
He also went after the accusers themselves.
Jesus, dude. Trump responds to sexual assault allegations by saying "look at her" pic.twitter.com/w8vgLTISRy
— Colin Jones (@colinjones) October 13, 2016
And he told the crowd that he has information that will exonerate him from the claims, information he will “release it at an appropriate time.”
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has gone silent (other than Tweets that appear to be written by staff). But Michelle Obama took the stage as her attack dog, and let loose on Trump’s behavior towards women.
“This is not normal, this is not politics as usual,” she told a New Hampshire crowd, referencing both Trump’s 2005 Access Hollywood comments, and the allegations that have surfaced since Wednesday. “This is disgrace, it is intolerable, and it doesn’t matter what party you belong to.”
“No woman deserves to be treated this way,” she added. “None of us deserves this kind of abuse.”
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) October 13, 2016
“Strong men don’t need to put down women to feel powerful,” Obama closed.
There was other bad news from Trump campaign on Thursday, as it was revealed that its Virginia team has ceased operations in the battleground state. On the stump in Florida, Trump also appeared to apologize to Serbians for America’s involvement in the Kosovo conflict, saying the Bill Clinton-led effort “caused a lot of harm,” though the U.S. bombed Serbian forces for humanitarian reasons.
As for the Clinton campaign, Trump’s flare-up is a welcome distraction from the drip-drip-drip releases from Wikileaks, which has been exposing the innards of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta’s email account.