Debate commission thwarted Trump seating plan for Bill Clinton accusers

In an attempt to deflect attention from Donald Trump’s derogatory comments on Access Hollywood made public Friday, it has been learned the Republican presidential campaign sought to seat three women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual abuse in the seating area reserved for Trump’s family members at the second debate Sunday in St. Louis.

Approved by Trump personally and orchestrated by campaign Chief Executive Steven Bannon and son-in-law Jared Kushner, the scheme originally called for four women, Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, Kathy Shelton and Paula Jones to enter the hall, confront Bill Clinton and invite a handshake.

Broaddrick accused Bill Clinton of raping her in 1978; Kathleen Willey has leveled the charge Clinton groped her during a private meeting in the White House; and former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones accused Clinton of propositioning her and exposing himself to her in a Little Rock, Ark., hotel room in 1991.

Similarly, Kathy Shelton, a rape victim whose assailant was represented by Hillary Clinton in 1975, was the fourth among the circle of women.

“We were going to put the four women in the VIP box.  We had it all set. We wanted to have them shake hands with Bill, to see if Bill would shake hands with them,” said former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Trump representative.

Commission co-chair Frank J. Fahrenkopf, a former Republican National Committee chair, foiled Trump’s plan by issuing a pointed warning, telling a Trump aide in clear and definite terms the women would be escorted out by security should they be seated in Trump’s family box.

Fahrenkopf’s determination on Trump’s seating arrangement followed his decision to exclude Missouri’s Democrat senator Claire McCaskill from being seated with Bill Clinton in his family’s seating area.

Frustrated in the attempt to apply pressure on Hillary Clinton through her husband’s accusers, the Trump campaign relented and seated the four women in the general seating areas.

“But we pulled it because we were going to have a big incident on national TV.  Frank Fahrenkopf stopped us, and we weren’t going to have a fight on national TV with the commission to start the debate,” Giuliani said.

Two national surveys of likely voters conducted since Friday have found Trump’s support below 40 percent in a four-way race, 35 and 39 percent respectively, according to NBC News/Wall Street Journal and Rasmussen Reports.

 

[Washington Post] [Photo courtesy Facebook via The Daily Beast]