Sunday 25 February 2018

Hillary Clinton condemns 'horrific' lewd comments by rival Donald Trump

Donald Trump speaks during a national security meeting at Trump Tower, New York (AP)
Donald Trump speaks during a national security meeting at Trump Tower, New York (AP)

Hillary Clinton has described a video of US presidential rival Donald Trump making lewd comments about women in 2005 as horrific.

Republican Mr Trump issued an apology after the video emerged of him making the sexually-charged comments, calling it "locker room banter".

But Democratic candidate Mrs Clinton said on Twitter: "This is horrific. We cannot allow this man to become president.

Mrs Clinton has said that Mr Trump has shown a lack of respect for women, noting during the first presidential debate that he insulted a former Miss Universe. She has said it is a reason why he's unfit to be president.

Mr Trump said "I apologise if anyone was offended" after the Washington Post revealed the video of him caught on a hot microphone while talking with Billy Bush of Access Hollywood.

He is heard saying he "did try and f*** her", referring to an unknown woman. He also used graphic terms to describe the woman's body and said he frequently tried to kiss beautiful women.

He boasted that "when you're a star they let you do it", adding: "You can do anything."

Mr Trump has a long history of making crude comments about women.

Meanwhile Mr Trump has claimed that border officials have been told to allow immigrants into the US illegally so they can vote in the presidential election.

He offered no evidence to support his latest claim that presidential voting may be tainted by fraud, but claimed: "That's a massive story. They are letting people pour into the country so they can go ahead and vote."

He was speaking after a meeting with Art Del Cueto, a vice president for the National Border Patrol Council, who told him officials are being directed to ignore criminal histories of immigrants and speed up citizenship applications.

Union spokesman Shawn Moran, who was with Mr Del Cueto for the meeting in New York, said later in a telephone interview that several issues were conflated during the round-table discussion.

Border Patrol agents have seen an increase in attempts to cross the border from Mexico illegally, Mr Moran said, but he did not say any border agents had been ordered to let those immigrants in so they could vote in November.

The two issues are sometimes linked in a misleading fashion, and the brief exchange between Mr Del Cueto and Mr Trump underscored that.

Neither man offered evidence to back up the idea immigration officials are taking action to allow people who have recently crossed the border to cast ballots on election day. Newly admitted immigrants are not permitted to vote, a right that is reserved for citizens.

The process of achieving citizenship takes years. Applications are handled by US Citizenship and Immigration Services, not the Border Patrol.

There is no evidence that USCIS officials have been directed to quickly approve citizenship applications, although some lawmakers have asked the agency to address such reports.

Mr Trump has repeatedly said he fears the election will be rigged and has made a hardline stance on immigration a centrepiece of his campaign.

His latest provocative claim comes as he and Mrs Clinton prepare for their second debate, a town-hall style confrontation on Sunday night. It is a critical moment for Mr Trump who, after a rough performance in last week's debate, is tasked with showing he can stick to his campaign message and steer clear of comments likely to alienate moderate voters.

Both candidates have been treading lightly on the campaign trail in recent days, as Hurricane Matthew barrelled down on swing state Florida.

Later Mr Trump said it was "outrageous" that the original suspects in one of New York's most notorious crimes were exonerated - even though someone else confessed to the attack.

Five black teenagers were charged in 1989 with brutally beating and raping a young woman jogging through Central Park. The suspects were known as 'The Central Park Five'.

They were convicted in a racially charged case based on confessions they said were coerced.

But in 2002, another man confessed and DNA evidence matched him to the crime scene. The original suspects were released and paid 41 million dollars (£32.9m) by New York State

Mr Trump told CNN that he condemned the settlement, declaring "they admitted they were guilty".

After the attack, Mr Trump took out a full-page ad with the headline: "Bring Back The Death Penalty. Bring Back Our Police!"


Press Association

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