Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump launched a flurry of new attacks against his detractors early Monday morning, as he prepared to face a week of unparalleled headwinds and controversies for his struggling campaign.
Trump began the day by denying allegations from a growing number of women who say he sexually abused them.
Not content with simply denying the allegations against him, Trump also regularly uses his Twitter account to point fingers at others. Monday was Vice President Joe Biden’s turn, and comes a day after Biden said Trump suffers from an “instinctive abuse of power.”
The video Trump shared is a compilation of Biden hugging and kissing various women, including Clinton. The vice president has a reputation for hugging people, including colleagues and voters, in a way that’s been described a few times as over the top.
And while there’s never an excuse for an inappropriate touch, Trump’s allegedly gone much further. In the past few days, 12 women have accused the GOP nominee of touching their genitals through their underwear and kissing them on the mouth without their consent, and in some cases, of grabbing them and attempting to force himself on them. A 13th woman alleges Trump raped her when she was 13 years old.
Trump also posted a tweet Monday that employs one of his preferred methods of discrediting women who claim he sexually abused them: find something nice they said about him, and offer it up as proof that they must be lying about the alleged assault.
At least there is one person who appears to still be standing by Trump: Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel.
Thiel spoke on Trump’s behalf at the Republican National Convention, and supports the GOP nominee because he has promised to dismantle regulations that Thiel views as responsible for stifling innovation. Why Thiel would make such a large donation now, when Trump is plummeting in the polls amid allegations that render him increasingly toxic to voters, is a mystery.
Even Trump seems to recognize that his campaign is collapsing, a reality that has prompted him to ratchet up his false claims of “large scale voter fraud” in recent weeks.
Five minutes after posting the Thiel tweet, Trump had already shifted from denying the multiple sexual assault allegations against him to denying the integrity of the U.S. electoral system.
This is nothing new for Trump, who has long used dog-whistle messaging to drum up fears among his largely white supporters that “voter fraud” is taking place in black and Hispanic neighborhoods.
But as Election Day approaches, Trump is increasingly fixated on the idea that the election is “rigged,” and that it will be “stolen” from him through a coordinated campaign of voter fraud.
This type of fear mongering serves to cast doubt upon the legitimacy of a Clinton victory, something Trump has clearly indicated that he intends to do if she wins.
For many in his party, however, including his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Trump’s decision to challenge the integrity of the American electoral system was a bridge too far. “We will absolutely accept the result of the election,” Pence told “Meet The Press” on Sunday.
This may help explain why Trump’s tweet about voter fraud Monday also included an unprovoked attack on his fellow Republicans with Trump calling them, “So naive!”
Of all the tweets Trump shot out in his Monday morning tweetstorm, however, none was more perfectly Trump than this one:
A call for unity, issued at the tail end of a barrage of divisive, accusatory, conspiratorial, false and outlandish statements. It’s almost as if Trump had no recollection of what he’d been saying for the last half-hour, as he alienated women voters, minorities and his fellow Republicans. Everyone, it seemed, except for his Democratic opponent.
Three hours later, Trump remedied the apparent oversight:
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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.