Republican candidate Donald Trump has defended his inappropriate remarks about groping women by launching a blistering attack against rival Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and her husband during the second presidential debate.
Donald Trump denied ever assaulting women, but turned his fire on former President Bill Clinton.
“There’s never been anybody in the history of politics that has been so abusive to women,” he said.
Hillary Clinton refused to address Donald Trump’s comments about her husband.
Donald Trump’s attack on the Clintons came after moderator Anderson Cooper asked him about a 2005 video recording released on October 7 that revealed the New York billionaire bragging about groping women.
When pressed on whether he had engaged in s**ual misconduct with any women, Donald Trump denied doing so and instead focused on Bill Clinton’s previous indiscretions.
No criminal charges have been brought against Bill Clinton in any allegations of assault.
Hillary Clinton said the explosive video, which has sparked an exodus of Republicans denying support to their presidential nominee, showed who Donald Trump really was.
She said: “With prior Republican nominees, I disagreed with them, but I never questioned their fitness to serve.
“I think it’s clear to anyone who heard [the video] that it represents exactly who he is.”
When Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump took to the stage in St Louis for their second of three debates, they did not shake hands, striking a bitter tone that would continue throughout.
Donald Trump said if he won, he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton and she would be in prison over her private email arrangements.
“Everything he just said is absolutely false but I’m not surprised,” she responded.
“It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.”
“Because you’d be in jail,” Donald Trump interrupted.
He also said his Democratic rival “has tremendous hate in her heart” while criticizing her for referring to his supporters as “deplorables”.
Hillary Clinton said she apologized for the comment, adding: “My argument is not with his supporters, it’s with him, about the hateful and divisive campaign he has run.”
The two also sparred on the conflict in Syria, Russian aggression, Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns and his plan for the “extreme vetting” of immigrants arriving from countries with links to terrorism.
The evening concluded when an audience member asked the candidates to say one positive thing about each other.
Hillary Clinton said his children were a great reflection of him while Donald Trump called his opponent “a fighter” who never gives up.
An hour before the debate began, Donald Trump appeared at a press conference with women who accused Bill Clinton of s**ual misconduct.
The Republican joined three women who allege Bill Clinton assaulted them and called the women “very courageous”.
Donald Trump was under immense pressure after making inappropriate comments about women in the video.
At least 33 senior Republicans – including senators, members of Congress, and state governors – have withdrawn their support since the video surfaced on October 7.
Hillary Clinton also defended controversial remarks she made in a private speech that was made public in leaked emails on October 8.
The transcript had revealed Hillary Clinton said a politician has a public and private position, but at the debate she said she had watched a film about Abraham Lincoln and was referring only to what he had done.
Donald Trump appeared with Paula Jones, a former Arkansas state employee who settled a harassment suit against Bill Clinton for $850,000 in 1999 with no admission of guilt.
Juanita Broaddrick, who claimed Bill Clinton raped her in a hotel room in 1978, also appeared with Donald Trump.
Bill Clinton has denied the claim through his lawyer and no charges have ever been brought against him.
The third woman was Kathleen Willey, a former White House aide who said Bill Clinton groped her in his office in 1993, but had previously said it never happened.
Bill Clinton has also denied this claim.
Kathy Shelton, a fourth woman who spoke, encountered Hillary Clinton in a criminal case when she was 12 years old.
Early in Hillary Clinton’s legal career, she was appointed to defend Kathy Shelton’s rapist, despite objections, and had his sentence reduced to a lesser charge.
Years later, an audio tape emerged of Hillary Clinton discussing speaking with a reporter, in which she can be heard laughing about the case.
During one instance, Hillary Clinton laughed after explaining that her client had passed a lie detector test, which convinced her to never trust them again.