Just a few hours ahead of the second presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the Republican nominee held a short-notice press conference with four women who've accused President Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct. Trump sat between the four women, two flanking him on either side, as they one-by-one proceeded to endorse the candidate. The transcript of Donald Trump's pre-debate press conference with Bill Clinton's accusers is so unabashedly 2016 that it should probably be added to a time capsule for this strange rollercoaster of a year.
During the conference, Trump speaks very little — a welcome change for those still suffering from the PTSD induced by the last debate. He instead sat back as the four women — Paula Jones, Kathy Shelton, Juanita Broaddrick, and Kathleen Willey — told reporters why they are supporting Trump. It was at times awkward, but was mostly sad to watch these four women have their alleged trauma paraded in public to make one accused misogynist and rapist point to another as a means of political maneuvering.
All in all, it was a bizarrely sober moment for The Donald before the expected free-for-all of the second debate between him and Clinton. If absolutely nothing else, this press conference is something we've never seen before in a presidential race — and will hopefully never be subjected to again.
The transcript of Trump's press conference, as prepared by Bustle, is below.
Donald Trump: So, thank you very much for coming. These four very courageous women have asked to be here and it was our honor to help them, and I think they’re each gonna make just an individual short statement and then we will, we’re gonna have a little meeting and we’ll see you at the debate. Perhaps let’s start with Paula?
Paula Jones: Well I’m here to support Mr. Trump because he’s going to make American great again and i think everybody else should vote for him. And I think they should all look at the fact that he's a good person, he’s not what other people have been saying he’s being, like Hillary said. Think about that.
Kathy Shelton: I’m also here to support Trump. I, at 12 years old, Hillary put me through something that you would never put a 12 year old through. She says she’s for women and children, and she was asked last year what happened, and she said she’s supposed to defend whether they did or not, and now she’s laughing on tape saying she knows they did it.
Trump: You went through a lot.
Shelton: Yes, sir, I did.
Juanita Broaddrick: Hi, I’m Juanita Broaddrick, and I’m here to support Donald Trump. I tweeted recently, and Mr. Trump retweeted it, that actions speak louder than words. Mr. Trump may have said some bad words, but Bill Clinton raped me and Hillary Clinton threatened me. I don’t think there’s any comparison.
Kathleen Willey: I’m Kathleen WIlley, and I am here to support Donald Trump. The reason for that is the first day that he announced for president, he said, I love this country and I want America to be great again. And I cried when he said that, because I think this is the greatest country in the world. I think that we can do anything, I think we can accomplish anything, I think that we can bring peace to this word, and I think Donald Trump can lead us to that point.