Following the release of a 2005 video in which Donald Trump brags to TV host Billy Bush about sexual assault, Trump’s campaign is reeling from a series of accusations of sexual assault from nine different women. In Wednesday night’s third and final presidential debate in Las Vegas, Trump denied the accusations, saying his nine accusers are either looking for “fame” or work for Clinton’s campaign. “Nobody has more respect for women than I do,” Trump insisted.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh, as we turn to some highlights from last night’s showdown in Vegas, the last presidential debate between the November elections. Let’s go to Fox News moderator Chris Wallace.
CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton, I want to clear up your position on this issue, because in a speech you gave to a Brazilian bank for which you were paid $225,000, we’ve learned from the WikiLeaks that you said this, and I want to quote: “My dream is a hemispheric common market with open trade and open borders.” So, that’s the question—
DONALD TRUMP: Thank you.
CHRIS WALLACE: That’s the question. Please, quiet, everybody. Is that your dream, open borders?
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, if you went on to read the rest of the sentence, I was talking about energy. You know, we trade more energy with our neighbors than we trade with the rest of the world combined. And I do want us to have a—an electric grid, an energy system that crosses borders. I think that would be a great benefit to us.
But you are very clearly quoting from WikiLeaks. And what’s really important about WikiLeaks is that the Russian government has engaged in espionage against Americans. They have hacked American websites, American accounts of private people, of institutions. Then they have given that information to WikiLeaks for the purpose of putting it on the internet. This has come from the highest levels of the Russian government, clearly from Putin himself, in an effort, as 17 of our intelligence agencies have confirmed, to influence our election.
So I actually think the most important question of this evening, Chris, is: Finally, will Donald Trump admit and condemn that the Russians are doing this, and make it clear that he will not have the help of Putin in this election, that he rejects Russian espionage against Americans, which he actually encouraged in the past? Those are the questions we need answered. We’ve never had anything like this happen—
CHRIS WALLACE: Well—
HILLARY CLINTON: —in any of our elections before.
DONALD TRUMP: That was a great pivot off the fact that she wants open borders, OK? How did we get on to Putin?
CHRIS WALLACE: Hold on. Hold on.
DONALD TRUMP: No, no. That—
CHRIS WALLACE: Wait, wait. Hold on, folks, because we could—this is going to end up getting out of control. Let’s try to keep it quiet so—for the candidates and for the American people. Go ahead.
DONALD TRUMP: So, just to finish on the borders—
CHRIS WALLACE: Yes?
DONALD TRUMP: She wants open borders. People are going to pour into our country. People are going to come in from Syria. She wants 550 percent more people than Barack Obama, and he has thousands and thousands of people. They have no idea where they come from. And you see. We are going to stop radical Islamic terrorism in this country. She won’t even mention the words, and neither will President Obama. So, I just want to tell you: She wants open borders.
Now we can talk about Putin. I don’t know Putin. He said nice things about me. If we got along well, that would be good. If Russia and the United States got along well and went after ISIS, that would be good. He has no respect for her. He has no respect for our president. And I’ll tell you what: We’re in very serious trouble, because we have a country with tremendous numbers of nuclear warheads—1,800, by the way—where they expanded and we didn’t—1,800 nuclear warheads. And she’s playing chicken. Look, Putin—
CHRIS WALLACE: Wait, but—
DONALD TRUMP: —from everything I see, has no respect for this person.
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, that’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president of the United States.
DONALD TRUMP: No puppet. No puppet.
HILLARY CLINTON: And it’s pretty clear—
DONALD TRUMP: You’re the puppet!
HILLARY CLINTON: It’s pretty clear you won’t admit that the Russian—
DONALD TRUMP: No, you’re the puppet.
HILLARY CLINTON: And I think it’s time you take a stand, because if—
DONALD TRUMP: She has no idea whether it’s Russia, China or anybody else.
HILLARY CLINTON: I am not quoting myself. I am quoting 17—
DONALD TRUMP: She has no idea. Hillary, you have no idea.
HILLARY CLINTON: Seventeen—do you doubt? Seventeen military and civilian agencies.
DONALD TRUMP: Our country has no idea.
HILLARY CLINTON: Well—
DONALD TRUMP: Yeah, I doubt it. I doubt it.
HILLARY CLINTON: He’d rather believe Vladimir Putin than the military and civilian intelligence professionals who are sworn to protect us. I find that just absolutely frightening.
CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary, Mr. Trump—
DONALD TRUMP: She doesn’t like Putin, because Putin has—
CHRIS WALLACE: Mr. Trump?
DONALD TRUMP: —outsmarted her at every step of the way.
CHRIS WALLACE: Mr. Trump—
AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go to more of Wednesday night’s debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. This, again, moderator Chris Wallace.
CHRIS WALLACE: The next segment is fitness to be president of the United States. Mr. Trump, at the last debate, you said your talk about grabbing women was just that—talk—and that you’d never actually done it. And since then, as we all know, nine women have come forward and said that you either groped them or kissed them without their consent. Why would so many different women from so many different circumstances over so many different years—why would they all, in this last couple of weeks, make up—you deny this—why would they all make up these stories? And since this is a question for both of you, Secretary Clinton, Mr. Trump says what your husband did and that you defended was even worse. Mr. Trump, you go first.
DONALD TRUMP: Well, first of all, those stories have been largely debunked. Those people, I don’t know those people. I have a feeling how they came. I believe it was her campaign that did it, just like if you look at what came out today on the clips, where I was wondering what happened with my rally in Chicago and other rallies where we had such violence. She’s the one, and Obama, that caused the violence. They hired people. They paid them $1,500. And they’re on tape saying, “Be violent. Cause fights. Do bad things.”
I would say the only way—because those stories are all totally false, I have to say that. And I didn’t even apologize to my wife, who’s sitting right here, because I didn’t do anything. I didn’t know any of these women. I didn’t see these women. These women—the woman on the plane, the woman—I think they want either fame, or her campaign did it.
And I think it’s her campaign, because what I saw—what they did, which is a criminal act, by the way, where they’re telling people to go out and start fist fights and start violence—and I’ll tell you what. In particular in Chicago, people were hurt and people could have been killed in that riot. And that was—now, all on tape—started by her. I believe, Chris, that she got these people to step forward. If it wasn’t, they get their 10 minutes of fame. But they were all totally—it was all fiction. It was lies, and it was fiction.
HILLARY CLINTON: Well—
CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton?
HILLARY CLINTON: At the last debate, we heard Donald talking about what he did to women. And after that, a number of women have come forward saying that’s exactly what he did to them. Now, what was his response? Well, he held a number of big rallies where he said that he could not possibly have done those things to those women, because they were not attractive enough for them to be assaulted.
DONALD TRUMP: I did not say that. I did not say that.
HILLARY CLINTON: In fact, he went on to say—
CHRIS WALLACE: Her two minutes—sir, her two minutes. Her two minutes.
DONALD TRUMP: But did not say that.
CHRIS WALLACE: It’s her two minutes.
HILLARY CLINTON: He went on to say, “Look at her. I don’t think so.” About another woman, he said, “That wouldn’t be my first choice.” He attacked the woman reporter writing the story, called her “disgusting,” as he has called a number of women during this campaign. Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger. He goes after their dignity, their self-worth. And I don’t think there is a woman anywhere who doesn’t know what that feels like. So we now know what Donald thinks and what he says and how he acts toward women. That’s who Donald is.
I think it’s really up to all of us to demonstrate who we are and who our country is, and to stand up and be very clear about what we expect from our next president, how we want to bring our country together, where we don’t want to have the kind of pitting of people one against the other, where instead we celebrate our diversity, we lift people up, and we make our country even greater. America is great, because America is good. And it really is up to all of us to make that true, now and in the future, and particularly for our children and our grandchildren.
CHRIS WALLACE: Mr. Trump—
DONALD TRUMP: Nobody has more respect for women than I do. Nobody. Nobody has more respect.
CHRIS WALLACE: Please, everybody.
DONALD TRUMP: And frankly, those stories have been largely debunked. And I really want to just talk about something slightly different. She mentions this, which is all fiction, all fictionalized, probably or possibly started by her and her very sleazy campaign. But I will tell you, what isn’t fictionalized are her emails, where she destroyed 33,000 emails criminally—criminally—after getting a subpoena from the United States Congress.
What happened to the FBI? I don’t know. We have a great general, four-star general, today—you read it in all the papers—going to potentially serve five years in jail for lying to the FBI. One lie. She’s lied hundreds of times to the people, to Congress and to the FBI. He’s going to probably go to jail. This is a four-star general. And she gets away with it, and she can run for the presidency of the United States? That’s really what you should be talking about, not fiction, where somebody wants fame or where they come out of her crooked campaign.
CHRIS WALLACE: Secretary Clinton?
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, every time Donald is pushed on something which is obviously uncomfortable, like what these women are saying, he immediately goes to denying responsibility. And it’s not just about women. He never apologizes or says he’s sorry for anything. So we know what he has said and what he’s done to women. But he also went after a disabled reporter, mocked and mimicked him—
DONALD TRUMP: Wrong.
HILLARY CLINTON: — on national television. He went after Mr. and Mrs. Khan, the parents of a young man who died serving our country, a Gold Star family, because of their religion. He went after John McCain, a prisoner of war, said he prefers people who aren’t captured. He went after a federal judge, born in Indiana, but who Donald said couldn’t be trusted to try the fraud and racketeering case against Trump University because his parents were Mexican.
So, it’s not one thing. This is a pattern, a pattern of divisiveness, of a very dark and, in many ways, dangerous vision of our country, where he incites violence, where he applauds people who are pushing and pulling and punching at his rallies. That is not who America is. And I hope that as we move in the last weeks of this campaign, more and more people will understand what’s at stake in this election. It really does come down to what kind of country we are going to have.
DONALD TRUMP: So sad when she talks about violence at my rallies, and she caused the violence. It’s on tape.
CHRIS WALLACE: During the last—
DONALD TRUMP: The other things are false, but, honestly, I’d love to talk about getting rid of ISIS, and I’d love to talk about other things.
AMY GOODMAN: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton facing off in their last presidential debate before the November election. When we come back, we get response from third-party, Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein. Stay with us.