On Wednesday night, a number of women accused Trump of sexually assaulting them in the past. Jessica Leeds and Rachel Crooks told The New York Times that Trump groped and kissed them, respectively, without their consent—both came to the Times independently. A People reporter wrote that Trump “attacked her.” Cassandra Searles, who competed in the 2013 Miss USA pageant, took to Facebook to write that Trump “continually grabbed my ass.” CBS, meanwhile, uncovered video of Trump telling a 10-year-old girl that he would “be dating her in 10 years.”
Trump’s response has been predictably unhinged. On Wednesday night he threatened to sue The New York Times, even though he has no chance of winning. And on Thursday, at a rally and press conference, he continued to lash out. He claimed that he didn’t sexually harass the People reporter because “look at her”—implying that she wasn’t attractive enough for his advances. And he furthered the critique of the media he has made for much of this campaign:
“The corporate media in our country is no longer involved in journalism,” said Trump, who has called for tighter libel laws that would make it easier to sue reporters. “They’re a political special interest, no different from any other lobbyist or financial entity with a total political agenda.... Anyone who challenges their control is deemed a sexist, a racist, a xenophobe, and morally deformed.”
This is the only card Trump has to play. There are so many credible charges against him that he can only respond by attempting to gaslight his way out of them, claiming that he is the victim of a coordinated attack by the Democratic Party and American media. It won’t work outside of the echo chamber that Trump is already speaking to.