Yo, HillaryClinton.com: Can we get a fact-check on the dictionary definition of the word gentleman? Donald Trump didn’t threaten to grab anyone by the [redacted] tonight — but he did have a lot of fighting words for opponent Hillary Clinton during their second 2016 presidential debate on Sunday, October 9. Watch a highlight above, and click here for our by-the-minute recap!
With his campaign in frantic damage-control mode, and even fellow Republicans rescinding their endorsements, Trump went big (some might even say YUGE) with a bombastic, provocative and at times vaguely threatening approach to the town hall–style event at Washington University in St. Louis.
We don’t know how Trump will do at the polls come November, but he’s certainly dominating this list of our top 5 craziest moments from the 90-minute debate.
The Ghosts of Clinton’s Past
In what seemed like an attempt to rattle Clinton in advance of the debate, Trump held a press conference right before the event with Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey — who had all accused Bill Clinton of inappropriate sexual behavior. Although Hillary Clinton didn’t take the bait when Trump gave the women a front-row seat and pointed them out during the debate, she did take the stunt some kind of way, as she very studiously declined to shake Trump’s hand when she walked on stage.
Trouble in Pence-adise
Even with all the sniping at his opponent, one of Trump’s most memorable disagreements tonight wasn’t with Clinton at all, but with his running mate. When asked to comment on Mike Pence‘s views on military intervention in Aleppo, Trump replied, “We haven’t spoken, and I disagree.”
“Because You’d Be in Jail”
This might be a first in presidential debate history: During a familiar rant about Clinton’s email scandal, Trump’s rhetoric took an unexpected and rather threatening turn when he promised that if elected, he’ll appoint a special prosecutor to reinvestigate Clinton and put her in prison for her alleged mishandling of classified information.
What Was That Word, Again?
It was possibly the most ironic moment in an evening overshadowed by Trump’s graphic, provocative comments, which were caught on a hot mic during an Access Hollywood taping. When offered the chance to respond first to a question, the same man who’d just had to explain how and why he came to brag on tape about grabbing women in a decidedly illegal fashion, by a decidedly private part of their anatomy, said this:
“No, I’m a gentleman, Hillary. Go ahead.”
And by the way, there were actually more tweets posted about the debate discussion of Trump’s 2005 comments than they were tweets about any actual policy that was brought up. People clearly had one thing on their minds.
And finally, the weirdest (and most meme-worthy) thing to come out of the evening: Immediately after that “I’m a gentleman” comment, Trump inexplicably stood up and followed Clinton downstage, where he proceeded to loom behind her à la Michael Myers in a dark window in the classic horror film Halloween. This moment immediately went viral; while almost certainly not what Trump intended, the visual effect was extremely creepy, particularly when we’re right in the middle of a nationwide panic over scary clowns.
Tell Us: What did you think of the debate? And who won?
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