US election: Trump camp on attack ahead of debate

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Donald Trump appears outside Trump Tower on 8 October 2016

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his team have come out fighting after a slew of attacks over his obscene remarks about women.

Mr Trump is due to meet his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the second presidential debate on Sunday night.

His adviser Rudy Giuliani said Mr Trump may well bring up Mrs Clinton’s alleged role in discrediting women who accused her husband Bill of sexual abuse.

A 2005 recording of Mr Trump reveals him bragging about groping women.

At least 33 senior Republicans – including senators, members of Congress, and state governors – have withdrawn their support since the video surfaced on Friday.

Mr Trump tweeted a link to a video in which a woman accuses former president Bill Clinton of rape in 1978 while he was attorney general of Arkansas.

Mr Clinton denied her claims of rape when they first emerged in 1999.

Some Republicans are calling for Mr Trump to quit the presidential race. Utah Senator Mike Lee said the Republican Party had to find another candidate or it would not win the White House.

“We’ve got candidates who can do it. There’s still time to do it, but we have to actually do it,” he told NBC’s Meet the Press.

Mr Trump, who gave a video apology over the 2005 recording, has said there is “zero chance I’ll quit”.

And most Republican voters would appear to support his stance. In the first poll since the release of the tape, by Politico/Morning Consult, some 74% of Republican voters believe the party should continue to support him.

A number of his supporters booed a party unity rally in Wisconsin on Saturday night, given by House Speaker Paul Ryan. Mr Ryan disinvited Mr Trump to attend the event after the tape revelations.

Donald Trump tweets: Tremendous support (except for some Republican Image copyright@REALDONALDTRUMP

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In his video apology, Mr Trump gave a hint that he would bring up more lurid allegations in Sunday’s debate saying: “Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary Clinton has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims. We will discuss this more in the coming days.”

Mr Giuliani, former New York mayor, told US media that Mr Trump would not hesitate to describe Mr Clinton’s abuse in criminal terms.

“The reality is that… this is a situation in which neither side should throw stones because both sides have sinned,” he told NBC’s Meet the Press.

Hillary Clinton’s camp has not responded to the allegations, but her campaign chairman John Podesta called Mr Trump “disgusting” when asked for his response to the tape revelations. “This is who this guy is,” he said.

And it could be risky for Mr Trump to refer to Bill Clinton’s infidelities. According tothe New York Times, polling suggests a majority of voters are not interested in revisiting stories about Mr Clinton’s behaviour.

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