In Republican nominee Donald Trump’s first remarks since The New York Times and People magazine published sexual assault allegations against him, he said he never expected the campaign to be so “vicious,” but would “gladly” put up with it for the sake of his supporters.
“I never knew it would be this vile, this bad, this vicious,” Trump told a cheering crowd at a rally Thursday, after accusing “corporate media” of being in league with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. “Nevertheless, I take all of these slings and arrows gladly for you.”
Trump threatened to sue The New York Times after it published the story, in which one woman accused him of groping her on a first class flight to New York many years ago, and another accused him of kissing her on the mouth when they met outside an elevator. Both said they were compelled to share their story after watching Trump in the second presidential debate, when he referred to lewd comments about women caught on a hot mic as “locker room talk” and denied ever having sexually assaulted a woman.
The accusations are a “coordinated, vicious attack” from the Clinton campaign and the media, Trump said at the rally, adding that reporters are “horrible, horrible liars.”
“These vicious claims about me of inappropriate conduct with women are totally and absolutely false,” Trump said. “And the Clintons know it and they know it very well. These claims are all fabricated they’re pure fiction and they’re outright lies. These events never, ever happened.”
The New York Times defended the story in a letter responding to Trump’s threat, saying the paper welcomes the opportunity to fight Trump in court and that it was well within their rights to publish the story.
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