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Talk of sex tapes takes presidential campaign on sordid turn

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    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump visits the Kent County Republican Headquarters, Friday, Sept. 30, 2016, in Grand Rapids, Mich.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. >> Donald Trump is encouraging voters to check out a “sex tape” featuring the former beauty queen with whom he’s feuding. Hillary Clinton’s campaign is suggesting that a better rental is the adult film in which Trump himself appears.

With the presidential campaign taking a sordid turn Friday, even many of Trump’s supporters shook their heads, worried that their candidate’s latest outburst could further hurt him among female voters already skeptical but whose support he’ll badly need to win in November.

The Republican nominee’s pre-dawn Twitter tirade tore into the 1996 Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, a Venezuela-born woman whose weight gain Trump has said created terrible problems for the pageant he owned at the time. Clinton had cited Trump’s treatment of Machado near the end of their first debate, and Trump has spent days revisiting his complaints about Machado.

“Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia M become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate?” read a tweet Trump posted at 5:30 a.m., one in a series of attacks on her.

The “sex tape” tweet apparently referred to footage from a Spanish reality show in 2005 in which Machado was a contestant and appeared on camera in bed with a male contestant. The images are grainy and do not include nudity, though Machado later acknowledged in the Hispanic media that she was having sex in the video.

Muddying the waters: an explicit 2000 Playboy video with a cameo by Trump. In a short clip posted on the website BuzzFeed, Trump pours a bottle of champagne on a Playboy-branded limo on a New York street, surrounded by a gaggle of women.

“There’s been a lot of talk about sex tapes today and in a strange turn of events only one adult film has emerged today, and its star is Donald Trump,” said Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill, adding he hadn’t seen the film.

Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign accused the media and Clinton of colluding to set him up for fresh condemnation, to which Clinton retorted, “His latest twitter meltdown is unhinged, even for him.”

Machado herself took to Facebook to say Trump’s tweets were part of a pattern of “demoralizing women,” calling them “cheap lies with bad intentions.” Planned Parenthood said it showed that Trump’s “misogyny knows no bounds.” And Clinton said they showed anew why someone with Trump’s temperament “should not be anywhere near the nuclear codes.”

With less than 40 days left in the election, Trump’s broadside threw his campaign into a fresh round of second-guessing the candidate’s instincts and confusion about what to do next. To believers in traditional political norms, it seemed like the opposite of what was needed to win over females, Hispanics and young Americans whose support could well determine the election.

Shaming Machado over intimate details from her past could be particularly risky as Trump tries to win over more female voters, many of whom are turned away by such personal attacks. It also risks calling further attention to the thrice-married Trump’s own history with women.

What kind of a man, Clinton asked, “stays up all night to smear a woman with lies and conspiracy theories?”

Even Trump’s most vocal allies seemed at a loss for words.

“He’s being Trump. I don’t have any comment beyond that,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a top supporter. Generally chatty and occasionally critical of Trump, Gingrich said tersely that Trump sometimes does “strange things,” but that Clinton lies. “I’ll let you decide which is worse for America.”

But Trump’s inner circle followed his lead by refusing to concede any missteps. Trump did not mention the tweets Friday evening as he rallied supporters in Michigan. Instead, he returned to Twitter to invoke Clinton’s famous ad from her 2008 campaign portraying her as the best candidate to pick up an urgent call at the White House at 3 a.m.

“For those few people knocking me for tweeting at three o’clock in the morning, at least you know I will be there, awake, to answer the call!” Trump wrote.

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  • Unfortunately, Mr. Trump is a psychotic. Anyone should be able to see that at this point.

    Support for him now is morphing from plain old bad judgment to something approaching a personality defect.

    • Trump’s aides can’t control him, and that’s not a good thing for him and his followers. He is spinning out of control, alienating all the undecideds.

      The frightening thing is that 30 to 40% of people can’t see what a psychotic Trump is. But for now that’s still a minority, and even some of them will defect as they see him fall apart. Time for the GOP to take a good look in the mirror.

      • They won’t do that. Both McConnell and Ryan can plainly see his mental illness, but they are so craven for power, that they continue to support him. It’s a sad chapter for the Republican Party. The party now fully owns the vote from white supremacists, racist and imbeciles. That’s a difficult group to control. The party leaders earned every headache they get from their treasonous actions.

    • While I certainly don’t condone Trump or his BS, I think the bigger picture is that the polls still indicate a relatively close race. That means Trumps message is appealing to at least 40%-45% of the US population. And that is a lot of people. It would be great if Hillary wins, but how does she mend this obvious divide?

      • Improve education? Hard to believe so many people are so under-educated that a charlatan can just come along, toss out lies without thought, and have his way with tens of millions of voters.

      • The reality is that Trump’s ceiling is about 41% nationally. He has never been to go past that number and there are not a sufficient amount of voters to get him elected. Now with this sordid debacle he did not just shoot himself in the foot, he aimed at his own head–all self-inflicted.

        • I totally get the what you are saying, but think about it 41% of the 146 million registered voters is about 60 million people. That means 60 million of our fellow country men are willing to vote for Trump despite all his stupidity and his obvious lack of qualification to be the President. Are that many people that desperate? This is scary.

        • IRT Ike, yes, you are correct that Mr. Trump is at some 41%. Your challenge is your candidate, Ms Hillary, is within the margin and only 3 points ahead at 44%. We shall see how her initiation of bringing Miss Universe into her campaign will impact the race two weeks from today. Currently, the Millennials are 51% Ms Hillary, and 34% Mr. Trump. Mr. Trump is gaining as Ms Hillary is losing.

        • kuroiwaj – Please recommend to Mr. Trump that he keeps us his current plan of attack. Please. Democrats are begging you.

        • IRT Klastri, Will do. The Millennials and women are understanding that the Establishment Politics protects criminal behavior and the Clintons are in the middle of it all.

        • I guess lack of education contributes to this irrational adulation of Trump. But I think the sad truth is there are that many racists (who are inherently irrational) who never could accept the fact that a Black man has been their president for the past 8 years. So they are so desperate to “prove” that he’s not a real president; that people from south of the border should be happy with whatever way we dispose of them; and that Black people, who all live in poverty and are shot at every day, should be grateful that Emperor Trump acknowledges their presence.

          When Trumpsters say “Make America Great Again,” they want to go back to the good ol’ days of segregation and Jim Crow laws, maybe even further back in time…. Bunch of degenerates.

        • Yes, Sarge we hear that “make America great again” thing from Trump fans almost as often as “so what?” and “what difference does it make?”

    • IRT Klastri, it was a risk for Ms Hillary and her campaign to bring into the Presidential campaign Miss Universe with her bad personal record. Now, Ms Hillary has opened the flood gate of all kinds of sexual situations with Mr. Bill Clinton and her. The Millennials who are paying attention will begin to understand why Mr. Bill got impeached by the U.S. House and all his many sexual excapades.

      • You’re wrong, of course. What the Clinton campaign was trying to do (which has been successful beyond their wildest dreams) was to expose Mr. Trump’s manifest mental illnesses and his inability to control himself. He kept it up, unprompted, for five days and kept digging his hole with educated women deeper and deeper. He is making women hate him. That’s what Mrs. Clinton was trying to do and it worked.

        Millenials are smart enough to know that Mr. Clinton is not running for President. Mrs. Clinton is.

        You need to learn that too. Trump is finished. It’s over.

        Please keep recommending that he keeps up his attacks on women, including Mrs. Clinton, for something her husband did. That’s been very successful for Mr. trump so far!

        “I love the poorly educated!” Go Trump!

        • Klastri, what Ms Hillary did remind us all of her campaign in 2007 bringing up the “Birther” issue of Hawaii born President Obama. She has done the same with Miss Universe. She always initiates the issue, then go in hiding. Remember kid time, the instigator. Yep, it’s Ms Hillary.

        • kuroiwaj – It’s not a surprise that you believe the already fully debunked lie from Trump that Mrs. Clinton started that sad and pathetic issue. Mr. Trump cannot stop lying about it, and you believe him. He’s lying.

          The Clinton campaign is not hiding about the Miss Universe thing. They are needling Trump constantly because they know he’s mentally ill and will continue on with his rants. It’s really too easy.

          Good luck with your fantasy about him winning. He’s done. Finished.

  • I wonder what will come out of this election for the republican party? If history is any indication, the republicans will just double down after Hillary wins and commit to make her a one term president. It is a shame that republicans no longer have any values. Time for that party to join the Whgs

    • The big thing now is that with Trump dragging down the Senate, Mrs. Clinton will be able to appoint who she wants to the Supreme Court. That’s a big win all by itself.

      Republicans cannot do anything right now. Nothing. It’s a completely failed party.

      • Klastri, best wishes, but not going happen. Have you looked at the Senate for 2018, with 23 Democrats and 8 Republicans up for re-election. And, it critical as to who will be running for re-election. Mr. Trump will be our next president, for as you say the U.S. Supreme Court is just too important for our Country and its future.

        • Enjoy your fantasy world. He’s done. He’s a psychotic. It’s amazing that you either cannot see or admit that.

        • Yes we need to get the stock market down to under 7000 again. We need unemployment to rise and we need to start more never ending wars. Kuroiwaj, I have no idea why you are for Donald but being so makes you being for the destruction of the American economy. Putin thanks you for your support.

    • Trump said this week that when he’s elected, he will remodel the U.N. General Assembly podium area. First, he doesn’t understand that the U.S. President doesn’t decide such things, and second, I can’t imagine a gold throne would fit very well up there. Classy!

    • Cellodad, that’s a nice way of saying it. Actually, Trump has reached a point well beyond tacky and has not ventured into the area of libelous. Wait, he has reached that point many times way, way in the past. For those unaware of Trump’s past he was the subject of both media and tabloid magazines some of which were actually true such as the fact that he was a womanizer. Those who refuse to accept this fact are his followers who will eat up whatever he says as fact and turn the whole thing on Hillary. It’s a form of denial. But Hillary’s husband, too, was subject to the same treatment for his trysts. But the fact is, we have a pot calling the kettle black for sexual innuendos.

  • Donald Trump–novice politician. HRC laid the trap during the debate when she mentioned Alicia Machado & he bit big time. Who in the general public knew about Alicia Machado? I sure did not. Look at him now. That is politics big league style & it shows Trump cannot compete. Another example showing how unqualified he is to be leader of this great country.

    • The Clinton campaign needed to show that Mr. Trump is mentally ill and can be set off into a continuing rage by almost nothing – the slightest thing from years ago. And of course it worked. His lifelong personality defects were on display for 84 million to see. And then it continued for five more days.

      He’s a psychotic.

  • No one can handle this lunatic. Not his family,handlers,campaign managers,Newt,Rudy,nobody. Do you think it would change as president? No. ” GIVE ME THE CODE,NOW!!”. BELIEVE ME I CAN DO THIS””.

      • Bumbai, yes, NanakuliBoss is talking about Ms Hillary. Me believes that NB truly does not understand the mind of say, a Mr. Tom Brady, on winning is the only option. Mr. Trump is of the same mind set. There is only one option if anyone decides to run for the office of President, and that is to win, period.

        • Klastri, this is his first attempt at politics, and he will become the President of the United States.

        • kuroiwaj – You suggest that he’s a winner, but he’s failed over and over in business; he’s been sued and lost in court many times; he’s the founder of Trump University – an organized criminal conspiracy. And he’s all but destroyed the Republican Party.

          Yes sir – he’s a winner!

  • Trump has since been unable to restrain himself, attacking Machado as Clinton’s camp has pushed her forcefully into the public eye, playing right into the Democratic nominee’s argument that Trump lacks the temperament and impulse control to be commander in chief.

    And Clinton’s gambit is paying off. While most pundits swiftly declared Clinton the winner of Monday night’s showdown for her poised and lucid showing, a burst of polls out Thursday night and Friday morning provided the first tangible evidence that voters agreed.

    A Florida poll showed Clinton with a 4-point lead over Trump (a 2-point gain since the previous survey), and polls out of New Hampshire and Michigan gave the former secretary of state 7-point leads in both of those states.

    If other surveys follow suit, it will provide Clinton with significant breathing space after a tense patch in which polls showed that the presidential race had tightened into a dead heat going into Monday’s faceoff.

    Read more:

  • That debate did more than just give Clinton a boost in the polls.
    It destroyed any illusion anyone might have had that Trump can control himself, do his homework, or act presidential for 20 minutes.

  • So, Hillary would have us believe a fully clothed Donald Trump pouring Champagne on a car is “appearing in an adult film,” yet, Bill’s serial sex predator behavior (in real life) never happened? Are we really going to buy into Bizzaro World?

    • Very funny. Trump himself has bragged about his own extramarital conquests and is now being called out for his unapologetic, continuing misogynistic public statements.

      Note: this is all on the man himself.

      But fine, if you think he deserves righteous nods for doubling down and apparently arguing that a former Miss Universe and his opponent’s spouse don’t have the moral fiber to win this election, by all means go on believing what you believe.

  • Everyday, another lie. Not a good example for our young. Guess he was never in our Scouting programs; The Scout Law; A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent!

      • Sailfish, that’s a really dum question. There have been untold millions of Boy Scouts and hundreds of thousands of politicians throughout American history. According to sources, there have been approximately 140 Eagle Scouts who were politicians, not including local state and county officials. George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy were all former Boys Scouts, though they never achieved the honor of Eagle Scout. William Howard Taft served as honorary president of the Boys Scouts organization. Calvin Coolidge’s sons were both Boys Scouts. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson were both former troop leaders. FWIW, Gerald Ford was the only Eagle Scout who became POTUS. I gotta shake my head about your silly question.

  • Newt Gingrich was really piss-d off with him yesterday on Bill O’Reillys The Factor. Yet the dummy still supports the Chump. He is a tantrum throwing 70 year old spoiled brat who needs a long overdue spanking.

  • The Clingons started the Miss Universe matter. Just more dirt because that’s all Crooked Hilliary can do. She’s a ditch digger, not presidential and definitely not ladylike.

    She claims she was brought up middle class. BS. “In other words, Hillary comes from owning class. She grew up in Park Ridge, IL and her parents drove Cadillacs. Her father owned a manufacturing company. She went to Wellesley, where she was a Young Republican”.

    “Is this the only time she’s claimed to be “working class,” or is this another Tuzla?”
    Anybody doing business and politics in Chicago like her father had to be corrupt. Another “lie”.

    • Trump is losing, and badly. His poll numbers are collapsing and his campaign is further falling apart.

      You’ve become Baghdad Bob on here. Keep up the good work.

    • Problem is the Chump consistently takes the bait hook, line and sinker. He is so easy to distract that it is seriously troubling. I wouldn’t trust him to be my dog sitter. He would be too busy tweeting.

  • Crooked Hilliary has taken her campaign to the netherworld. White educated women voters cannot be impressed with her shrill trash talking. She talks like a drunken bar maid that belies her high class upbringing. How she can fool the American people is beyond any conceivable conception. If she wins those who elected her deserve what they got.

    • Have you always hated women? Shrill? Drunken bar maid? Wow!

      And “conceivable conception?” You are definitely a Trump supporter!

      She’s going to win. Get used to it.

  • Trumps hypocrisy fully expose: Who is Trump to criticize anyone for salaciousness? This is the man who once said, “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass,” and who has bragged about his sexual exploits (perhaps literally) ad nauseam. Trump is only reminding everyone of his double-standard on sex for men and women, which is plays into Clinton’s hands.

    To see the sort of chaos Trump’s dark-of-the-night, spur-of-the-moment messaging causes, look no further than Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s appearance on MSNBC Friday morning, where she tried to blame Clinton for Trump’s tweets.

    “It’s unfortunate that this issue was raised by Secretary Clinton during Monday night’s debate,” the Republican and Trump surrogate said. “She’s the one that jumped off in the ditch bringing back comments from the ’90s.” The defense makes no sense: Clinton didn’t make Trump tweet; even though she brought the issue up, he’s under no obligation to keep making it the story of the day; and this all comes as the Trump campaign distributes talking points encouraging surrogates to bring up comments from the ’90s.Atlantic

    • For those of you who want to decipher Ike’s posts, you need to get one of those little plastic decoder rings that used to be in cereal boxes. You may be able to find one on E-Bay but really, who would want to? Now, as far as demoralizing women go, the one-two punch of the Clintons has demoralized more women than you can shake a stick at.

  • Trump was not in the nude or with nude women or men, so forgettable about it. Many more important issues like desh, Lybia, Iraq, and their displaced people’s, and the killing of civilians. Nothing to see peeps, just move on. Only the press trying to haze the real issues.

  • With so many people turned off at both candidates, I can’t understand why the paper is not running some stories about Gary Johnson, who is a reasonable alternative.

      • Yes, ignorance can be quite blissful. Take Barry Hussein for example. He claims he had no knowledge Waldo was using a private server. He used his well-worn excuse that he only learned of it when he read about in the news.

  • For those of you who have not seen Mr. Trump’s rally today in Pennsylvania, it shows his continued descent into madness. He is determined to lose the vote of every woman in America.

    His mocking of Mrs. Clinton’s pneumonia shows what a walking piece of garbage Trump really is. A loathsome, worthless sociopath.

    The goal now is to make his loss so humiliating that he and his worthless sons are silenced forever.

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