Donald Trump said Tuesday that Monica Lewinsky and Paula Jones are both "fair game" in his fight with the Clintons
Trump has accused Bill Clinton of sexism because of his previous infidelity but dismissed the issue in a 2008 interview with CNN
Donald Trump said Tuesday that Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones and “many” other women who have accused Bill Clinton of having affairs with them would be “fair game” in his continuing fight with the Clintons.
“Well if you look at the different situations, of course you could name many of them, I could get you a list and I’ll have it sent to your office in two seconds. But there certainly were a lot of abuse of women, you look at whether it’s Monica Lewinsky or Paula Jones, or any of them, and that certainly will be fair game,” Trump said on NBC’s “The Today Show.” “Certainly, if they play the woman’s card with respect to me, that will be fair game.”
The declaration marks an escalation of the fight Trump has picked with the Clintons, sparked in part by his comment last week that Hillary Clinton was “schlonged” by President Barack Obama in 2008. That comment drew a response from Clinton about Trump’s “penchant for sexism,” which Trump threw back at her this weekend as he tried to pull Bill Clinton into the fray.
Trump said Monday that Bill Clinton was “fair game,” but Tuesday marked the first time he named the Clinton accusers who would be used as ammo.
Hillary Clinton was asked earlier this month during a campaign stop about claims by Jones, Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey that they were either raped or sexually harassed by Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton’s office declined comment at the time and did not immediately return a request for comment Tuesday.
Before he was a presidential candidate, Trump had a long, friendly history with the Clintons, marked in part by his defense of Bill Clinton in a 2008 interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
“Look at the trouble Bill Clinton got into with something that was totally unimportant. And they tried to impeach him, which was nonsense. And yet Bush got us into this horrible war with lies, by lying, by saying they had weapons of mass destruction, by saying all sorts of things that turned out not to be true,” Trump told Blitzer at the time.
Trump said Tuesday that his kind words in 2008 were his “obligation” as a “world-class businessman.”
“I’m dubbed as a world-class businessman, which frankly that’s what I am, and I got along with everybody. I got along with the Clintons, the Republicans, the Democrats, the liberals, the conservatives. That was my obligation, as a businessman,” Trump told NBC’s “The Today Show.” “But I get along with along with the Clintons and I get along with everybody virtually, because that was – when I needed approvals, when I needed something from Washington, I always got what I wanted.”
Trump isn’t the only Republican 2016er bringing up the issue.
Ben Carson said Tuesday that Trump attacking Bill Clinton’s relationship with women in this campaign is fair game.
“President Clinton is a previous president. All previous presidents and their administrations are fair game for analysis and comparisons,” he told Fox Business Network’s Neil Cavuto.
Carson said he was “sorry” that America – including small children – had to be exposed to Clinton’s extramarital affair with Lewinsky.
“I should be sorry. You should be sorry. We should all be sorry,” he said. “The fact of the matter is there is such a thing as right and wrong.”
“We have to stop letting people sweep all of this stuff under the rug and say, ‘It’s not a problem. Everything is of equal value,’” he added. “We should not be willing to throw away all of our values and principles for the sake of political correctness.”
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on “The Situation Room” Monday that Bill Clinton’s troubles could easily be Hillary Clinton’s on the trail, as she makes the argument for improved protections for women.
“The thing is, is that if she’s for workplace equality and if she’s for changing the laws to make it better for women, then she needs to – there is going to be this distinction brought up or this problem or irony brought up that her husband seemed to be a great abuser of women in the workplace,” Paul said. “She does have a women’s problem, and I think it’s not apparent yet because she gets kind of a pass from some in the media.”
CNN’s Eugene Scott contributed to this story.