Hours before the second presidential debate, Republican candidate Donald Trump held a surprise live appearance with women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct. One of the women who attended Trump's panel, Paula Jones, sued Bill for sexual harassment that allegedly occurred in 1991, and has been an avid Trump supporter this election cycle. Bill Clinton settled his lawsuit with Jones for a reported $850,000. As part of the settlement, Bill did not admit wrongdoing or issue an apology; Jones' complaint alleged that he "touched her, tried to kiss her and dropped his pants and asked for oral sex."
The panel appearance comes days after the release of a series of tapes in which Trump, apparently unaware that his microphone is still on, says a number of lewd things about women, many of which implied or seemed to endorse sexual assault. In the aftermath of the release, many prominent Republicans withdrew their endorsements, and many called for Trump to drop out of the race. The references to Bill Clinton's alleged misconduct with women represent Trump's attempt to distract from his own issues with women by painting his opponent as an enabler.
Paula Jones attended the panel in a baseball cap and zip-up jacket and delivered a short statement on behalf of Trump:
Well, I'm here to support Mr. Trump because he's gonna make America great again, and I think everybody else should vote for him, and I think they should all look at the fact that he is a good person. He's not what other people have been saying he's being, like Hillary. So, think about that.
Since the 1999 settlement, Jones has supported a number of Republican politicians, including Trump. According to a 2009 profile in TIME Magazine, she has also appeared on Celebrity Boxing and in a spread in Penthouse Magazine, currently works as a real estate agent, and remarried in 2001.
Jones also told TIME that she felt like a "political pawn used by conservatives [who were] out to get Clinton."
Jones has apparently been a strong supporter of Donald Trump since at least February, when she was photographed at an Arkansas Trump rally, reaching for Trump from the crowd. At the time, the two reportedly took a selfie. She also appeared earlier Sunday in a video for Breitbart along with Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Wiley, who have also alleged that Bill Clinton committed sexual misconduct.