Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claims President Donald Trump made her skin crawl during the second presidential debate, according to her new tell-all campaign book.
Clinton described Trump as “looming behind” her during the October 2016 debate in an audio excerpt of her new book “What Happened,” which aired Wednesday on MSNBC.
“We were on a small stage and no matter where I walked, he followed me closely, staring at me, making faces. It was incredibly uncomfortable. He was literally breathing down my neck. My skin crawled,” Clinton said.
“It was one of those moments where you wish you could hit pause and ask everyone watching: ‘Well, what would you do?’ Do you stay calm, keep smiling and carry on as if he weren’t repeatedly invading your space? Or do you turn, look him in the eye and say loudly and clearly: ‘Back up, you creep. Get away from me. I know you love to intimidate women but you can’t intimidate me.'”
The debate occurred in St. Louis two days after the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape in which Trump described how his fame enables him to make successful aggressive sexual advances on women.
Clinton said a lifetime of dealing with “difficult men” enabled her to brush off what she perceived to be aggressive physical posturing by Trump.
“Maybe I have over-learned the lesson of staying calm, biting my tongue, digging my fingernails into a clenched fist, smiling all the while, determined to present a composed face to the world,” she said.
Clinton also acknowledged that she failed her supporters. The acknowledgement stands in sharp contrast to the statements Clinton made in May, when she admitted she made mistakes but argued those missteps were not to blame for the loss. Instead, she suggested the Democratic National Committee, Russia and sexism were ultimately at fault.
“Every day that I was a candidate for president, I knew that millions of people were counting on me and I couldn’t bear the idea of letting them down. But I did,” Clinton said in the released book excerpt. “I couldn’t get the job done.”
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