If you think the presidential campaign has so far been dirty, get ready, because it might be about to get a whole lot nastier.
Speaking to “The Jamie Weinstein Show” podcast from his Manhattan apartment a few days before the first presidential debate, longtime Trump political adviser and conspiracy aficionado Roger Stone said The Donald may try to paint Bill Clinton as Bill Cosby and Hillary Clinton as an enabler of her husband’s sexual “crimes.”
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“It would be a mistake to attack Trump as a misogynist because Hillary Clinton is an accessory after the fact, in every one of her husbands sex crimes,” Stone said. Asked whether Trump was planning to take his campaign in that direction, Stone warned, “it’s up to the Clintons.”
Days later at the first presidential debate at Hofstra University, Clinton did in fact attack Trump as a misogynist, bringing up the story of beauty queen Alicia Machado.
“This is a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs, and someone who has said pregnancy is an inconvenience to employers,” Clinton said, lambasting Trump.
“And one of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest,” she continued, referring to Machado, the 1996 winner of Donald Trump’s Miss Universe pageant. “He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman ‘Miss Piggy.'”
Stone explained that if Clinton took that route, Trump was prepared to bring up her husband’s misdeeds, which he alleges go far beyond infidelity.
“I don’t think he has any interest in affairs,” Stone said. “The issue here is not adultery, or marital infidelity, or girlfriends, or mistresses. The issue is something much darker. Sexual assaults, violence against women, and rape. That’s the issue.”
“I believe Juanita Broaddrick. I find her 100 times more credible than Hillary Clinton, a proven pathological liar,” he continued, referring to the Arkansas nursing home administrator who in 1999 accused Bill Clinton of raping her in 1978. “There is at least 27 other women. It’s very much like the Cosby situation.”
Stone no longer holds an official position with Trump’s campaign, but he maintains that he still talks to Trump “from time to time.” He is also author of “Clintons’ War On Women,” which could be considered the playbook for Trump if he decides to go nuclear on Bill Clinton’s past indiscretions.
Since last Monday’s debate, Trump has been inching towards an all out assault on Bill Clinton as a Cosby-like figure and Hillary as his enabler. Immediately after the Hofstra debate, Trump said he refrained from attacking Bill Clinton’s affairs on the stage out of respect for Chelsea Clinton, who was in the audience. In the days after the debate, some Trump surrogates took shots at Bill Clinton’s scandalous past. On Saturday, Trump even suggested that Hillary Clinton may not have been a faithful wife to her husband.
“Hillary Clinton’s only loyalty is to her financial contributors and to herself. I don’t even think she’s loyal to Bill, if you want to know the truth,” he said at a rally in Pennsylvania. “And really, folks, why should she be, why should she be.
It does not yet appear, however, that Trump has made the decision to go full Roger Stone on the Clintons. Some within Trump’s orbit question the strategy. “The bigger the choice the more likely Trump is to win, the smaller the topic the more likely Hillary is to win,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who was on Trump’s vice presidential short list, told The New York Times.
But if Trump decides to escalate, Stone has the blueprint.