The second Presidential debate of 2016 began with the highly anticipated topic of Donald Trump’s sexual assault comments from a recently surfaced 2005 hot mic tape.
The tape was recorded prior to an interview with NBC “Today Show” host Billy Bush, published by the Washington Post, in which Trump made sexually aggressive comments about women, saying he would “Grab them (women) by the pussy,” Trump says. “And when you’re a star, they let you do it.”
Moderator Anderson Cooper read aloud the transcript from the tape of Trump’s sexually aggressive comments and asked Trump if he knew that the statements he had made on the tape were a promotion of sexual assault.
“No I didn’t say that at all,” Trump said at first, denying he had said the statements on the tape at all. This was fact-checked to be untrue by NPR news. He then changed the conversation to ISIS.
Trump deflected the question about his sexual assault comments five more times to talk about immigrants from the Middle East, Bill Clinton, and Hillary Clinton’s emails.
“That was locker room talk, as I told you. That was locker room talk,” was Trump’s final statement on the tape.
Clinton responded, first to the tape and then about previous remarks Tump had made.
“Everyone can draw their own conclusions tonight,” Hillary Clinton responded. “If the man in the video, the man on the stage tonight, respects women.”
Clinton then listed other people she felt Donald Trump had disrespected, including Captain Humayan Kahn’s family who spoke at the Democratic Primary Convention, U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel who Trump said couldn’t hear a case about Trump University because of his race, cameraman Serge Kovaleski who Trump mocked because of his disability, and President Barack Obama when Trump spent years demanding his birth certificate.
The rest of the debate proceeded with the town hall style format, with audience members asking both Trump and Clinton pre-checked questions. The final question was designed to bring the two candidates together.
The question, asked by Karl Becker, asked the two candidates what they respected about each other.
“I respect his children,” Clinton said. “His children are incredibly able and devoted.”
Trump thanked her for her compliment and said, “She (Clinton) doesn’t quit. She doesn’t give up. I respect that.”
NOTE: A previous version of this article said Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s case was about Mexican immigration.