Based on the year he spent shadowing Donald Trump for his book The Art of the Deal, ghostwriter Tony Schwartz says that the GOP nominee’s attacks on others always contain an element of projection: His foes share the traits he has.
Something I saw early on w/ Trump: most negative things he says about others are actually describing him. Read his tweets with that in mind
— Tony Schwartz (@tonyschwartz) July 27, 2016
It’s beginning to look like when Trump announced his campaign attacking undocumented Mexican “rapists,” and today insists former President Clinton is a “rapist” too, he has indeed been projecting.
At least six women have come forward to multiple news outlets in the last 24 hours accusing Trump of kissing, groping, or even attempting to, as Trump so crudely put it in the Access Hollywood video that rocked his campaign, grab them “by the pussy.” A stranger seated next to Trump on a first-class flight; a People magazine reporter; a 22-year-old who worked for a real-estate firm in Trump Tower; a bevy of beauty-pageant winners; it seems there may be enough Trump sexual-assault accusers that every news outlet will eventually have their own.
Wednesday also saw the revelation that Trump entered the dressing rooms of the Miss Teen USA pageant, according to five former competitors, surprising juvenile contestants in various states of undress. Trump had already been caught boasting on tape to Howard Stern about one great perk of his job as beauty pageant owner: getting to burst into dressing rooms to inspect his property. “You know, they’re standing there with no clothes…. And you see these incredible looking women, and so, I sort of get away with things like that.”
Trump helped trigger the tsunami of accusations himself, by insisting that what he called “locker-room talk” on the Access Hollywood video was “just words,” and categorically denying during Sunday’s debate that he’d ever put his words into action. “I just wanted to punch the screen,” 74-year-old Jessica Leeds told The New York Times. More than 30 years ago, she told the paper, Trump had lifted the armrest between their first-class seats and begun to grope her breasts and force his hands between her legs. “He was like an octopus. His hands were everywhere,” Leeds recalled. “It was an assault.” And by insisting the nearly 40-year-old rape charge against Bill Clinton by Juanita Broaddrick must be believed—and, in fact, hosting Broaddrick and other Clinton accusers at Sunday’s debate—Trump has made it hard for his campaign to demand the media ignore the never-prosecuted and in some cases decades-old charges against him.