Those who spent the long weekend focusing on family and food might have just missed four of the most tumultuous days on the U.S. election campaign trail.
The political firestorm over Thanksgiving weekend began on Friday, with the release of a video of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump making crude comments about women in 2005.
Two days later, Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton squared off in a nasty debate, and on Monday, the fallout from Trump’s comments continued to reverberate. Here’s a recap of the key moments.
The Washington Post releases a 2005 video of Trump caught making crude comments about women while talking with Billy Bush of Access Hollywood.
WARNING: This video contains graphic language
“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful [women] — I just start kissing them,” Trump says in the video. “It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”
Right after that, he is heard saying, “grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
Following an outpouring of outrage and condemnation, Trump offers a written apology. His statement does little to quell the controversy. Trump issues a video message around midnight offering another apology but insists his 2005 comments are a distraction from the important issues in the current campaign.
Here is my statement. pic.twitter.com/WAZiGoQqMQ
Meanwhile, in the shadow of the headlines about Trump’s comments, Wikileaks releases emails from the hacked account of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. They include excerpts from her paid speeches to corporations and banks in which she praises “open trade and open borders” and talks about having “a public and a private position” on issues.
Fallout continues over Trump’s comments. Some prominent Republican politicians, including Arizona Senator John McCain, withdraw their support, while others, such as former Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, call on Trump to step aside as the nominee.
Trump’s vice-presidential running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence, issues a statement saying he “cannot defend” Trump’s comments about women. Meanwhile, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan uninvites Trump to appear with him at a campaign event in Wisconsin, saying he’s “sickened” by what he heard.
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani appears on the Sunday morning talk shows, replacing Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway and RNC chairman Reince Priebus.
Hours before the scheduled debate, Trump holds a surprise news conference, broadcast via Faceboook Live with four women, three of whom (Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey) have accused former U.S. president Bill Clinton of sexual assault. The fourth woman, Kathy Shelton, accused Hillary Clinton of ruining her life when Clinton, as a public defender, represented a man accused of raping Shelton when she was 12 in 1975.
Billy Bush is suspended indefinitely by NBC’s Today show for his role in the conversation Trump had with him about women.
Sunday evening — the debate
Clinton and Trump square off at Washington University in St. Louis in a town hall style match-up that includes questions from undecided voters in the audience and online.
The debate is an unprecedented nasty, vicious exchange. In response to repeated questioning from CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, one of two moderators, Trump apologizes for his 2005 comments, dismissing the words as “locker room talk.” This prompts Clinton to counter that those comments represent “exactly who he is.”
Trump vows to appoint a special prosecutor to re-investigate Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. Clinton says she’s glad someone with the temperament of Trump is not in charge of the laws in the country. Trump responds: “Because you’d be in jail.”
Clinton defends her reference to differentiating between “public and private comments” by explaining that it was inspired by her admiration for the way that Abraham Lincoln had to make different arguments to different people when trying to get the 13th amendment passed and abolish slavery. Trump responds that Clinton was “blaming the lie on the late great Abraham Lincoln.”
Trump also states that Clinton has “tremendous hate in her heart” and that former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, by agreeing to endorse Clinton, signed up “with the devil.”
Trump also raises the sexual abuse allegations against Bill Clinton, saying “there’s never been anyone in the history of politics in this nation who has been so abusive to women.”
Trump also seems to be at odds with his running mate over whether or not to support Russia’s use of military force in the war in Syria. “He and I haven’t spoken, and he and I disagree,” Trump says.
The debate also produces some new internet stars and memes, including a fly that kept landing on Clinton:
Town hall participant Ken Bone, who asked about energy policy, and his bright red sweater:
And a woman in the audience who raised her eyebrow when Trump referred to Clinton as “the devil,” prompting some to question whether she was truly an “undecided” voter.
Ryan withdraws support but not his endorsement of Trump. This prompts Trump to tweet that he “should spend more time on balancing the budget, jobs and illegal immigration and not waste his time on fighting [the] Republican nominee.”
Paul Ryan should spend more time on balancing the budget, jobs and illegal immigration and not waste his time on fighting Republican nominee
Priebus, meanwhile, says he’s sticking by Trump, dismissing reports that he had directed the RNC to redirect its resources away from Trump and to focus on the House and Senate races.
Watch The Choice 2016 on the Passionate Eye on Sunday, Oct. 16 at 10 p.m. ET & PT on CBC News Network for new insights into Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and why they both want one of the most difficult jobs imaginable.
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