At the first presidential debate, Donald Trump doubled down on some of his most outlandish statements. The Republican nominee has left an impressive paper trail of his off-the-cuff comments, thanks to his social media presence and frequent campaign events, and Monday night's political spectacle provided more fodder. In a moment that brought together the candidate's notorious Twitter feuds and his frequent disregard for facts, Trump dragged Rosie O'Donnell's name into the mix, claiming that she'd been cruel to him. Rosie O'Donnell's Twitter response to Trumps' debate comments could be construed that way — or it could be seen as a legitimate assessment of the man's debate performance.
This isn't the first time Trump has brought up the actress on a debate stage. During the first GOP debate, moderator Megyn Kelly took the real estate mogul to task over his disparaging comments about O'Donnell and many other women, which Clinton similarly did on Monday night. Feud aside, O'Donnell has been actively voicing her opinion against Trump on Twitter for years, with an especially spirited uptick in scathing burns over the course of his campaign. To Trump, O'Donnell's attacks are reminiscent of some of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign commercials.
"You know, Hillary is hitting me with tremendous commercials. Some of it's said in entertainment," Trump said during the debate before bringing up O'Donnell towards the end of the debate. Moments later, O'Donnell let him have it.
Trump's full statement was less about garnering sympathy and more about getting one more jab in, while touting his "temperament":
...Somebody's been very vicious to me, Rosie O'Donnell, I said tough things to her and I think everybody would agree that she deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her but you want to know the truth, I was going to say something extremely rough to Hillary, to her family, and I said to myself I can't do it. I just can't do it. It's inappropriate, it's not nice. But she spent hundreds of millions of dollars on negative ads on me many which are absolutely untrue. They're untrue and they're misrepresentations.
It's one thing to brush off nasty comments internally and a whole other to imply that someone deserved to be verbally abused. O'Donnell wasn't having it. The video she shared right after her debate tweet is the takedown that stared the feud in the first place, taken from her tenure on The View.
Within five minutes, O'Donnell eviscerates the inherent sexism of beauty pageants and the Donald himself. It's a moment that will forever haunt Trump and O'Donnell is happy to remind voters of his true temperament.