In their attacks on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Republican nominee Donald Trump and his campaign have been eager to bring up the infidelities of her husband, former President Bill Clinton, particularly to deflect attention from Trump’s history of misogyny.
But according to interviews from 1999, uncovered by CNN, Trump expressed sympathy for Hillary Clinton and the intense public scrutiny she received over her husband’s affairs and the ensuing investigations.
“I think she’s gone through terrible times,” Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “I think she’s been through more than any woman should have to bear — everything public. I mean, women go through this on a private basis and can’t take it, she’s on the front page of every newspaper every week with what went on in Washington.”
In a similar interview on CNBC, Trump called Clinton “a very, very good person” and said that her situation “[has] gotta be pretty tough.”
Throughout this year’s election, Trump and his campaign have tried to present Clinton’s handling of her husband’s affairs as evidence she is unfit to be president. They have further pressed the issue in an attempt to distract from the fallout of a bombshell video released Friday, in which Trump boasted about sexual assault.
The GOP nominee has also suggested that he may mention Bill Clinton’s affairs at Sunday’s presidential debate, where the video is expected to take center stage.
In a videotaped statement responding to the release of his lewd remarks on Friday, Trump immediately brought up the Clintons.
“I’ve said some foolish things, but there’s a big difference between the words and actions of other people,” he said. “Bill Clinton has actually abused women, and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims. We will discuss this more in the coming days. See you at the debate on Sunday.”
An hour and a half before that debate in St. Louis, Trump held an impromptu press conference with multiple women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct.
This article has been updated with news of Trump’s press conference.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.
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