Donald Trump signaled Monday his intention to fight a character war against Bill and Hillary Clinton in the final month of the presidential campaign, doubling down on his most controversial comments from Monday night’s debate.
“If I win we’re going to appoint a special prosecutor,” Trump told a cheering crowd in Suburban Pittsburgh, vowing again to pursue a criminal investigation against Hillary Clinton should he be elected.
Trump also made clear he would make Bill Clinton’s sexual improprieties of the last several decades a central plank in his campaign’s platform going forward, speaking at length on his decision to invite several Clinton accusers to the debate last night.
He linked that decision to the publication of a 2005 tape in which he brags about kissing and groping women without their consent.
“I was getting beaten up for 72 hours on all the networks for inappropriate words, 12 years ago. Locker room talk. Whatever you want to call it,” Trump said. “I just saw very inappropriate words, but Bill Clinton sexually assaulted innocent women and Hillary Clinton attacked those women viciously. One of them said more viciously than he attacked them.”
Trump made no distinction between the media outlets publishing the tapes and the Clinton campaign.
“If they want to release more tapes saying inappropriate things, we’ll continue to talk about Bill and Hillary Clinton doing inappropriate things,” Trump said. “There are so many of them folks.”
National and battleground state polls on Monday showed Trump’s hopes of winning the White House dissolving rapidly. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed Clinton leading 52% to 38% nationally in a two-way race. In Pennsylvania, perhaps the most hotly contested battleground, Clinton now leads by an average of more than 8 points.
At a rally in Michigan, Clinton dismissed Trump’s debate night attacks in much the same way she did on stage in St. Louis.
“The differences between me and my opponent are pretty clear,” Clinton said. “To paraphrase my friend Michelle Obama, one of us went high and one of us went low.”