Moderator Anderson Cooper asked Trump if he understood that his comments about grabbing women without their permission equated to him bragging about committing sexual assault. The Republican nominee again apologized for his comments and insisted it was only “locker room talk.” He then promised to “knock the hell out of ISIS.”
Throughout the response, Cooper repeatedly asked Trump if he had done the things he bragged about in the tape, to which he finally replied, “No I have not.” He then returned to ISIS and other campaign talking points.
In response, Hillary Clinton admonished Trump for his attacks on women throughout the campaign, and for also denigrating immigrants, African-Americans, Latinos, Muslims and prisoners of war. “America already is great, but we are great because we are good, and we will respect one another, and we will work with another, and we will celebrate our diversity,” she said.
Moderator Martha Raddatz then asked Trump how he had changed since the 2005 tape. Trump offered a similar apology, then said, “If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse: Mine are words and his was action. There has never been anyone in the history of politics in this nation that’s been so abusive to women … Hillary Clinton attacked those same women.” Trump then noted that four of those women were in the audience (he also held a pre-debate press conference with them), and closed by saying Clinton should be ashamed of herself.
Clinton did not directly respond to Trump’s accusations, and instead quoted Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention: “When they go low, you go high.” She then brought up Trump’s attacks on Gold Star parents Khizr and Ghazala Khan, Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel and disabled reporter Serge Kovaleski, while also criticizing Trump’s long-held belief that Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States.
Trump then insisted that the birther movement was started by members of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign before turning to Clinton’s emails and promised, “If I win, I’m going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation, because there have never been so many lies, so much deception, there has never been anything like it.”
Despite the accusation, Clinton grinned throughout Trump’s remarks and responded with a call to fact checkers to keep tabs on Trump’s statements. The surreal exchange came to a close when Clinton said, “It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.”
To which Trump replied, “Because you’d be in jail.”