As Donald Trump faces a growing number of sexual assault allegations, his campaign has unveiled a plan to paint Bill Clinton as Bill Cosby, promising it will soon bring forward more women who claim they have been groped or sexually abused by the former president.
“She’s led a program of victim intimidation,” Trump’s campaign CEO Steve Bannon told Trump staffers of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, 68, two advisers who were present told Bloomberg. “This has nothing to do with consensual sexual affairs and infidelities. This is Bill.”
“We’re going to turn him into Bill Cosby. He’s a violent sexual predator who physically abuses women who he assaults,” Bannon reportedly added. “And she takes the lead on the intimidation of the victims.”
Cosby, 79, who is facing aggravated sexual assault charges in Pennsylvania, saw his legacy as a beloved comedian and TV dad destroyed over the past few years as dozens of women came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct. He has denied all of the allegations against him.
Word of Trump’s new strategy to take down Bill Clinton, 70, comes as four women came forward to accuse Trump of forcibly groping and kissing them in news reports published Wednesday.
The allegations — made by Jessica Leeds and Rachel Crooks in The New York Times, Natasha Stoynoff in PEOPLE, and Mindy McGillivray in The Palm Beach Post — followed Trump’s denial during Sunday’s presidential debate that he ever made unwanted sexual advances on women, as he claimed to have done in a 2005 conversation on a hot mic. Trump has once again vehemently denied the new allegations against him.
Before the debate on Sunday night, Trump held a press conference with three women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault — Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, and Kathleen Willey — all of whom later attended the debate. Trump advisers say Broaddrick, Willey and Jones will appear together on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program on Thursday night. Bill Clinton has long denied allegations made by the three women.
The Trump campaign’s attack plan is being run by Bannon, deputy campaign manager David Bossie and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, multiple campaign officials confirmed to Bloomberg. The goals are to distract from the leaked 2005 tape and to discourage millennial women from voting for Hillary Clinton, according to Bloomberg.
The campaign also plans to criticize the alleged actions Hillary Clinton took against her husband’s accusers, Bossie said. “Her history of using private investigators in the ’80s and ’90s to harass and intimidate victims of Bill, to flip from that to what she’s saying today about how every victim deserves to be heard—when it was about Bill, she didn’t want the victims to be heard and Hillary did everything she could to stifle their voices,” he said.
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A senior Trump adviser says the campaign will soon reveal more accusers, noting, “Women are coming to us who have been groped or sexually abused by Bill Clinton.”
Another adviser said, “We’re gonna go buck wild.”