It has now been a full week since the now infamous eleven-year-old audiotape of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump making lewd comments about women in a conversation with then Access Hollywood host Billy Bush en route to a cameo appearance on The Days of Our Lives surfaced.
On Wednesday, October 12 the New York Times ran an article profiling two women who accused Trump of “sexual assault” with one of the allegations from 2005 and the other dating back to the 1970’s. Since then more women have come forward with similar claims. Trump has vehemently denied every one of these accusations.
Trump’s attorney Marc Kasowitz sent a letter to the New York Times demanding that the article be retracted. The New York Times’s Assistant General Counsel David McGraw responded, “We did what the law allows: We published newsworthy information about a subject of deep public concern, and added, “If Mr. Trump disagrees, if he believes that American citizens had no right to hear what these women had to say and that the law of this country forces us and those who would dare to criticize him to stand silent or be punished, we welcome the opportunity to have a court set him straight.”
The Trump situation became even more incendiary after former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos accused Trump of sexual assault during a Greensboro, North Carolina Trump rally. Trump continues to maintain that the allegations are false. “As you have seen, I am a victim of one of the great political smear campaigns in the history of our country,” he said at a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Friday night. “They are coming after me to try and destroy what is considered by even them the greatest movement in the history of our country.”
Of course, the Trump controversy has not been helped by the fact that top Republicans such as Speaker of the House Paul Ryan have denounced their support of Trump. Also, former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan has recently come out and said that she believes the sexual allegations lodged against Trump. Furthermore, Dr. Ben Carson, who is usually an excellent surrogate for Trump did the campaign a disservice when he asked MSNBC’s Katty Kay to turn off her microphone when the questioning about the “sexual assault” allegations became combative during his October 14 appearance on Morning Joe.
In the same week, WikiLeaks has released about 6000 emails which reveal damaging information about Hillary Clinton including her “dream” of an open border society, evidence that the Democratic National Committee Vice Chair Donna Brazile sent Clinton questions in advance of a March townhall, giving Clinton an edge over her primary rival Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and unprecedented coziness between Clinton staffers with the media where Clinton had veto power over articles in publications such as the New York Times. Oh, and by the way, this treasure trove of documents also revealed that Clinton does not think too highly of Southerners, Catholics and “needy” Hispanics.
Media bias has reared its ugly head in the war of competing scandals with ABC, CBS and NBC dedicating 4 hours and 13 minutes to discussing the recent allegations of sexual misconduct surrounding Donald Trump’s campaign. By contrast, the Clinton WikiLeaks release received only a collective 36 minutes of coverage with no analysis of the potential impact of the email content on The Clinton Campaign. (7 to 1: Trump Sex Scandals vs Hillary WikiLeaks Coverage) The mainstream media has also downplayed and given minimal airtime to other potentially damaging Clinton news items such as that of Marc Turi, the American arms dealer who participated in the 2011 covert operation to arm Libyan rebels. Last week, the DOJ dropped charges against Turi because the focus on the case would have been damaging to the Clinton campaign and the Obama Administration. Speaking out for the first time since charges were dropped against him, Turi commented, “I would say, 100 percent I was victimized, to somehow discredit me, to throw me under the bus, to do whatever it took to protect their next presidential candidate.” ( Arms Dealer Says Administration made him Scapegoat on Libya Operation to Protect Clinton)
Also, this past week, an FBI insider revealed that the majority of the 100 FBI agents and career prosecutors involved in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of an unsecured email server were “floored” by Director James Comey’s decision not to prosecute the former Secretary of State for the mishandling of classification information.
Yet, despite all this damaging evidence against Clinton, most of the polls are still in her favor with the latest Fox News Poll giving Clinton at 49% an eight-point advantage over Trump at 41%. On the other hand, according to the USC/LA Times poll, Clinton and Trump are locked in a dead heat at 44% and the recent Rasmussen Poll gives Trump a two point advantage over Clinton 43 to 41%.
Given that the election is less than four weeks away, the onus is on the Trump campaign to get his campaign back on message and focus on the issues which matter. Trump successfully debated Clinton in the second debate. He needs to deliver the performance of his lifetime in the upcoming October 19 third debate. The stakes have never been higher. Trump needs to show the American people once and for all why he is the right choice to be our nation’s 45th president. As Trump aptly put it, “If 5% of the people think it [the sexual assault allegation] is true — and maybe 10% — we don’t win”.