Trump calls accusers 'horrible, horrible liars'

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally Thursday at the South Florida Fairgrounds and Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Evan Vucci ~ Associated Press

Lashing back, Donald Trump heatedly rejected the growing list of sexual assault allegations against him as "pure fiction" on Thursday, hammering his female accusers as "horrible, horrible liars" as the already-nasty presidential campaign sank further into charges of attacks on women.

Campaign foe Hillary Clinton said "the disturbing stories just keep on coming" about her Republican opponent, but she let first lady Michelle Obama's passionate response carry the day. Obama, in battleground New Hampshire, warned that the New York billionaire's behavior "is not something we can ignore."

After years of working to end "this kind of violence and abuse and disrespect ... we're hearing these exact same things on the campaign trail. We are drowning in it," Obama declared, her voice cracking with emotion. "We can't expose our children to this any longer, not for another minute, let alone for four years."

With Election Day less than four weeks away, Republican Trump was again forced to defend himself against allegations of sexual misconduct, five days after a video surfaced in which he bragged about kissing and groping women without their permission.

Similar behavior was detailed by women who accused Trump in articles published late Wednesday by The New York Times and the Palm Beach Post. Separately, a People Magazine reporter offered a first-person account accusing Trump of attacking her while she was in Florida to interview him and his pregnant wife.

Ever defiant, the New York billionaire denied the allegations and blamed them on Hillary Clinton's campaign and the complicit news media as he campaigned in Florida. He promised to sue his media critics and said he was preparing evidence that would discredit his female accusers, whom he called "horrible people. They're horrible, horrible liars."

He went further during an evening appearance in Columbus, Ohio, saying he "never met" some of the women.

"I don't know who they are," he insisted and said they "made up stories."

"These vicious claims about me, of inappropriate conduct with women, are totally and absolutely false. And the Clintons know it," he said earlier. He offered no evidence discrediting the new reports except to ask why his accusers had waited years and then made their allegations less than a month before the election.

His comments came soon after he called a reporter "a sleazebag" for asking whether Trump had ever touched or groped a woman without her consent.

Trump's attacks on his accusers' credibility marked an awkward break from campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, who earlier in the week highlighted a Clinton tweet that said "every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported."

Conway hoped to encourage more women to come forward with allegations against Bill Clinton, building on the campaign's Sunday decision to bring three of the former president's accusers to the second presidential debate. The Republican nominee is expected to promote the women on stage during upcoming rallies and in television interviews, according to a person briefed on the plan but not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Comments