Midway into the third and final presidential debate, Chris Wallace asked Donald Trump about all the women who have come forward to report that Mr. Trump had sexually assaulted them. Mr. Trump’s reply was desperate and surreally brazen.
“Those people – I don’t know those people,” Mr. Trump said, referring to the women who said he had attacked them. “I have a feeling how they came. I believe it was her campaign that did it.”
Mr. Trump then claimed that the Clinton campaign had paid people $1,500 apiece to foment violence at a Trump rally in Chicago. This was offered as indirect support for his new, preferred explanation for the string of devastating sexual assault allegations: The Clinton campaign pays women to lie.
“I didn’t know any of these women,” he said. “I didn’t see these women.”
One of those women, Natasha Stoynoff, disclosed that Mr. Trump once pressed her against a wall and forced his tongue into her mouth at his mansion in Florida. She was at his home to interview Mr. Trump and his pregnant third wife for a profile in People magazine. Maybe you don’t need to see a woman to attack her in an empty room in your mansion, but he knows her. He knows her.
“It’s all fiction,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s lies and it’s fiction. Probably or possibly all started by her very sleazy campaign.”
It’s all lies, all right. It’s all fiction. And “sleazy” is the perfect word, for sure. Sleaze from wingtips to combover.
Mr. Trump knows what he did. Mr. Trump knows what he is. So do we.
Op-ed by Will Wilkinson; originally published in The New York Times