Jake Tapper unloaded on Donald Trump Sunday morning for casually suggesting, with no evidence whatsoever, that Hillary Clinton has been unfaithful to Bill Clinton.
Watch how bug-eyed Rudy keeps trying to change the subject to what he wishes Trump had said — that Hillary Clinton has attacked Bill Clinton’s female victims and taken money from misogynistic Islamist regimes — instead of what Trump actually said, which was that Hillary had been unfaithful:
TAPPER: Donald Trump launched a wild and unsubstantiated attack against Hillary Clinton last night. Take a listen.
[TRUMP ON VIDEO:] I don’t even think she’s loyal to Bill, if you want to know the truth. And really, folks, really. Why should she be, right?
TAPPER: Mr. Mayor, is that normal, stable behavior for a presidential nominee to launch an unsubstantiated attack?
RUDY GIULIANI: After she called him a racist, a misogynist, a, xenophobic, I don’t know, schizophrenic, and I don’t know what else she called him at the end of that debate. I think it’s fair game.
TAPPER: Just to make stuff up? Just wild accusations, Hillary Clinton’s cheating on Bill? No proof of it whatsoever? Everything’s fair game?
GIULIANI: That was a sarcastic remark pointing out that Bill Clinton has, you know, quite a past and Hillary Clinton has done quite a job on attacking the people who were victims of Bill Clinton. And not only that, she poses as a feminist and she’s taken money from countries that stone women, kill women, have women —
TAPPER: Bill Clinton is not the nominee, sir. Bill Clinton’s not the nominee. And this is my last question for you. Is the Trump campaign, is Donald Trump and the people around Donald Trump really the ones to be casting aspersions on the marriages of anyone else?
GIULIANI: It isn’t the marriage, it isn’t the marriage. It’s the way she goes on the attack and tries to hurt victims of sexual predations. She is the one that says victims should be taken seriously.
TAPPER: That wasn’t about her marriage? Him saying that she’s not loyal to Bill isn’t about her marriage?
GIULIANI: I am saying the problem with Hillary Clinton has nothing to do, as far as I’m concerned, with her marriage. It’s her protection of Bill Clinton for 20 or 25 years against allegations of rape, taking advantage of an intern, and going on the attack and trying to make those women appear to be insane in some cases. Also it’s her posing as a feminist and taking millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars from countries that kill women, stone women, don’t allow women to drive, don’t allow women to have rights, and use women as property.
TAPPER: I mean, I just find it hard to believe that Mr. Trump would want to start leveling accusations about people’s marriages. But that’s all the time we have Mr. Mayor.
GIULIANI: I think the accusations are about Hillary Clinton taking money from countries —
TAPPER: The accusation was that Hillary Clinton was cheating on Bill. That’s what the accusation was. It was an unhinged and wild accusation. I can understand why you can’t defend it because it’s indefensible.
No doubt the Dilbert guy and other Trump defenders have blog entries explaining that this is eight-dimensional chess: raising the issue of Hillary’s fidelity and the evidence be damned; taking the focus off his tax returns, etc. etc. Trump is a TV candidate for a TV culture, and I guess we’re past the notion of needing actual evidence of some kind before leveling an accusation. It’s nice to see people here and there like Tapper speaking out against it.
UPDATE: It is probably worth noting that Hillary has engaged in some baseless smears in the past, very similar to Trump’s more recent ones.
Hillary even said in an interview with Vanity Fair that year that a wealthy Atlanta businesswoman had told her about an alleged affair that her husband’s rival, George H.W. Bush, had had with a close aide. It’s all “apparently well known in Washington,” she said slyly. Hillary was referring to Jennifer Fitzgerald, with whom Bush was rumored to have had a romantic relationship for years. “I’m convinced part of it is that the Establishment—regardless of party—sticks together. They’re gonna circle the wagons on Jennifer,” she said.
The way to deal with that, for Trump and his surrogates, is to point out what Hillary has done in the past — not to engage in baseless smears of their own.