Donald Trump Denies Sexual Assault Claims, Again Calls Taped Comments ‘Locker Room Talk' in Second Debate

by Zach Seemayer 7:37 PM PDT, October 09, 2016
Playing Donald Trump Denies Sexual Assault Claims, Again Calls Taped Comments ‘Locker Room Talk' in Second Debate

The second presidential debate got very heated, very quickly on Sunday.

Donald Trump faced off against Hillary Clinton once again, this time at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and his vulgar, sexually explicit comments from a recently released audio tape recorded in 2005 were subject of the night's first debate questions.

Debate moderators Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz grilled Trump on his controversial comments, with included remarks about groping women, and asked the 70-year-old business mogul if he'd ever committed sexual assault, as he alluded to in the tapes.

"No, I didn't say that at all. I don't think you understood what was said. This was locker room talk," Trump responded. "I'm not proud of it. I apologize to my family, I apologize to the American people."

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Trump used his time to quickly change the subject from his statements to the threat of ISIS and his promises regarding homeland security. Cooper pressed him again to address his remarks and stay on topic.

"I have great respect for women. Nobody has more respect for women than I do," Trump said. After Cooper continued to ask him outright if he'd ever done the kinds of things he spoke about on in the audio tapes, Trump eventually said, "No, I have not."

Clinton used her time to rake her opponent over the coals for his misogynistic remarks, arguing, "What we all saw and heard on Friday was Donald talking about women, what he thinks about women [and] I think it's clear to anyone who heard it that it represents exactly who he is. Because we've seen this throughout the campaign."

"We've seen him insult women," she continued. "We've seen him embarrass women on TV and on Twitter. We saw him after the first debate denigrating a former Miss Universe in the harshest, most personal terms. So yes, this is who Donald Trump is."

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Raddatz followed up with another question about the remarks, asking if Trump has changed as a person in the 11 years since the audio tape was recorded. Trump didn't directly answer the comment, but instead pointed the finger of blame at Hillary’s husband, former President Bill Clinton.

"If you look at Bill Clinton, [he did] far worse. Mine are words and his were actions. What he's done to women, there's never been anybody in the history of politics in this nation that been so abusive to women," Trump stated.

"So, you can say it any way you want to say it, but Bill Clinton was abusive to women. Hillary Clinton attacked those same women, and attacked them viciously. Four of them are here tonight."

Before the debate, Trump held a press conference with several women who previously accused the former president of sexual harassment. Several of those women attended the debate and were reportedly seated in the front row of the theater.

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The Democratic nominee, however, did not address Trump's claims about her husband.

"When I hear something like that, I am reminded of what my friend, Michelle Obama, advised us all: 'When they go low, you go high.’"

Regarding the question of whether or not Trump has changed his opinion on women since 2005, Clinton said, "Everyone can draw their own conclusions at this point about whether or not the man in the video or the man on the stage respects women."

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A number of stars took Trump to task on Twitter during the debate, slamming him for his defense of his sexist comments, including Scandal producer Shonda Rhimes, who wrote, "Locker room talk = things that sexual assaulters say?"

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling also weighed in, slamming Trump for saying that his lewd remarks were "just words."

"Trump says 'just words, folks.' It's his accusation and his defence. Words don't matter. Facts don't matter," she tweeted. "If they don't, we're all lost."

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