UPDATE with more details: Donald Trump says he will respond to media reports that broke last night, in which various women claim he assaulted them, “in an appropriate way and at an appropriate time, very soon.” This after he canceled an appearance on tonight’s Fox News Channel program Hannity, which the candidate’s campaign previously had described as a one-hour special.
Hannity tonight had hoped to kick off the Trump campaign’s new media push, in which they say more women will come forward claiming to have been assaulted by Hillary Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton.
Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon has vowed they’re going to turn Bill Clinton “into Bill Cosby,” in an interview with Bloomberg News.
But Trump canceled on tonight’s Hannity, and the show has been busted down to one or two segments of interviews with women who previously flanked Trump at his pre-Debate 2 photo op to remind reporters of their claims of being attacked by Bill and Hillary Clinton.
An FNC rep says Trump’s interview “will be re-scheduled.” At a rally speech this morning in West Palm Beach, FL, Trump blasted the press reports, said the Clinton campaign is behind them, and promised to address the reports at a later time.
Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign has sent a letter to the New York Times that a lawsuit is coming if the publication does not retract its report about two women who claim the candidate got inappropriately physical with them years ago. That report, which was first posted last night, quickly was followed by similar claims published by other media outlets.
Tonight’s Hannity will feature, in one or two segments, guests Juanita Broaddrick, Kathy Shelton, Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones, a FNC spokeswoman confirmed. Three of them previously flanked Trump at the photo op staged immediately before the second presidential debate, during which the women reminded reporters of their previous claims to have been attacked by Bill or Hillary Clinton. Two of them, Broaddrick and Shelton, also previously appeared on Sean Hannity’s program the night after that second debate.
Team Trump believes that pre-debate photo op rattled Hillary Clinton at the debate.
In the New York Times report, one woman claimed Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt during a commercial flight, while the other says he kissed her on the mouth after she introduced herself to him while waiting for an elevator at Trump Tower.
That report was closely followed by an account in which a People reporter claimed she was victim of an unwanted sexual move by the GOP candidate at Mar-a-Lago in 2005. And, the Palm Beach Post reported another woman has claimed Trump groped her at the resort more than a decade ago. Also last night, CNN devoted much airtime to its interview with a former Miss USA pageant contestant in which she said Trump walked in on contestants’ room backstage while they were making a costume change, entering as some were topless and others naked.
Last night, NYT‘s Greg Howard tweeted the cease and desist letter the publication had received from Trump lawyers:
— Greg Howard (@greghoward88) October 13, 2016