Donald Trump, at a Florida rally on Thursday, fiercely denied a wave of sexual-assault allegations, assailing the “corporate media” for what he characterised as publishing “false smears” against him.
“These vicious claims about me, of inappropriate conduct with women, are totally and absolutely false,” Trump exclaimed onstage before a crowd of cheering fans.
The Republican presidential nominee continued, digging his heels more deeply into the sand: “The claims are preposterous, ludicrous, and defy common sense and logic.”
A wave of allegations from several women were published on Wednesday evening in various publications, including two women who spoke to The New York Times and a People magazine reporter who wrote a first-person essay alleging Trump forcibly kissed her.
Trump said he had “substantial evidence to dispute these lies” and said he would present it to the public “very soon.”
“The media outlets did not even attempt to confirm the most basic facts,” Trump claimed. “Nothing more than false smears.”
The real-estate tycoon, who has been struggling in the polls since an 11-year-old tape of him boasting about kissing and groping was made public, fingered his opponent, Hillary Clinton, as working with the media to advance such claims of sexual misconduct.
“These attacks are orchestrated by the Clintons and her media allies,” Trump said, describing the allegations as “absolutely hurtful” and “very painful.”
He said it was “not coincidental” the allegations occurred “all together at the same time” and while Wikileaks released documents “exposing the massive international corruption of the Clinton machine.”
The defiant billionaire went personally after The Times reporters who authored Wednesday’s story on the new allegations, demanding they be fired immediately. Trump speculated The Times would fold in the future due to financial difficulties and said it “probably wouldn’t be a bad thing.”
Trump also skewered the People magazine reporter, Natasha Stoynoff. He claimed she fabricated the claim that he forcibly kissed her and questioned why she was only now coming forward with her story.
“I was one of the biggest stars on television with the Apprentice,” Trump said. “And it would have been one of the biggest stories of the year.”
The brash billionaire then appeared to take a swipe at Stoynoff’s looks: “Look at her. Look at her words. You tell me what you think.”
Before denying the sexual assault claims, Trump blasted the media, contending that journalists were no longer working for the best interest of the public.
“The corporate media in our country is no longer involved in journalism,” he claimed, not citing any evidence. “They are a political special interest, no different than any lobbyist or financial entity, with a total political agenda.”
“And the agenda is not for you, it’s for themselves,” Trump continued. “And their agenda is to elected Crooked Hillary Clinton at any cost, at any price, no matter how many lives they destroy. For them, it’s war. And for them, nothing at all is out of bounds.”
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