First there was the decade-old tape. We'd heard it all before — "He kissed me directly on the lips" or “He pushed me up against the wall, and had his hands all over me and tried to get up my dress again" — but somehow Donald Trump found the ugliest way to sum it all up. "Grab her," he told the nephew of George H.W. Bush, the Kevin Bacon of elections, "by the pussy."
Several dozen Republican officials unendorsed Trump, calling the comments abhorrent, despicable, vile, disgusting, unacceptable, and repulsive. Most of them relied on talking about women in terms of how they relate to men, and how they must be "protected" and "revered." The same day the Access Hollywood video came out, Trump insisted that the Central Park Five, who are not guilty, were guilty. Wikileaks started releasing the hacked emails of John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign manager. The first batch contained excerpts from her secretive paid speeches. "My dream," she told a Brazilian bank in 2013, "is a hemispheric common market, with open borders, sometime in the future.” It was mostly a greatest hits of pragmatic, frustrating, predictable Clintonisms that reaffirmed your preexisting opinions about her, but it would have gone over much worse in any other election year.
Donald Trump read off an apology in a video statement. "Anyone who knows me," he said, "knows these words don’t reflect who I am."
A CNN anchor's friend shared another horror story. "Trump took Tic Tacs, suggested I take them also." They were in a boardroom at Trump Tower. "He then leaned in, catching me off guard, and kissed me almost on the lips. I was really freaked out." CNN also found an old interview where Howard Stern asked Trump if he could call Ivana a "piece of ass." Trump's answer was, "Yeah."
Glenn Beck wrote on Facebook, “If the consequence of standing against Trump and for principles is indeed the election of Hillary Clinton, so be it. At least it is a moral, ethical choice.” Lin Manuel-Miranda sang the Hamilton lyrics, “Never gon’ be president now” next to a picture of Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live.
Then there were the Sunday shows. Someone thought it was a good idea to have Rudy Giuliani talk about the Trump tape. “The fact is that men at times talk like that," he said. "Not all men, but men do." At the second presidential debate that evening, Trump, who does most of his exercise while flapping his arms at rallies, called his comments, "locker room talk," adding that they were "just words." He immediately segued into saying he would "knock the hell out of ISIS." Trump said he never assaulted women and mentioned that some of the women who accused Bill Clinton of assault were in the audience. Three of them appeared in a Facebook Live video with Trump before the debate. Trump also denied tweeting the words "check out sex tape" in the middle of the night, and promised to help the inner cities — a statement that was more correct than he realized, as inner cities are by now mostly populated by very rich people who would benefit from his tax plan. He also said that he would put Clinton in jail once he reaches the White House.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said he was no longer interested in noting that he disagrees with Trump every single day for the next four weeks. Trump tweeted, time-traveling back to the primary, a place when there were still good polls to talk about and he could spend most of his time making fun of Republicans:
Someone at a Trump rally in Pennsylvania wore a shirt that read, "She's a Cunt, Vote for Trump."
Campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said the jail thing was just a quip. More Podesta emails were released, showing that the Clinton campaign may have received advance intel about a question at a CNN primary town hall, that the candidate was sick of the cliché "Everyday Americans,” that her staffers weren't sure about Catholics, and that Podesta has many opinions on risotto. At this point, Billy Bush, who, the Washington Post notes, "exists mostly because America leaves the TV on all day so the dog won’t feel lonely," will no longer have a job in the near future. Clinton released a plan to help children and families in poverty.
A white sound engineer for The Apprentice told Buzzfeed that “Trump just kept calling me a ‘fucking monkey’ over and over. I’ve mic’d everyone from Ben Affleck to Renée Zellweger, and never, ever in my career have I run into something like that.” CNN found an old Howard Stern interview where Trump talked about O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown. Stern asked Trump, "You would never kill one of you ex-wives, would you?" He laughed, then said, "Uhh, I could think about it." Maine Governor Paul LePage said we need an authoritarian president to bring back the law after dealing with eight years of an autocrat.
Al Gore spoke at a Clinton rally for millennials in Florida. "Your vote," he said, "really, really, really counts. You can consider me as Exhibit A of that." Trump shared his thoughts on this at his rally in Florida. "Hillary Clinton, the candidate of the past," he said, "today dredged up Al Gore. Did you see him? Anybody see him? Didn't he say he was the founder of the internet? He wasn't."
Donald Trump held another rally in Florida. “I don’t get these polls," he said. "Every place I go, I see hundreds of women for Trump, then I see a poll. ‘He’s not doing well with women.’ I don’t know, I don’t know. The women in this country want what I’m saying." He then kissed a sign that said "Women for Trump." He also repeated that Hillary "has to go to jail." Conway continued to complain people were "taking it literally. You're just stuck on this one thing."
New polling shows that about 28 percent of women in the country support Trump. Nate Silver wrote that if only men voted, Clinton would get only 188 electoral votes. The hashtag #repealthe19th started trending on Twitter.
Earlier in the day, a GOP county chair at a Women for Trump event in Albany, New York, said, "If women are so outraged, why were so many copies of [Fifty] Shades of Grey sold?” Others blamed Twilight, Beyoncé, Barack Obama, or being a bad boy for the remarks. The FBI is looking into whether the Russians were responsible for the Clinton email hack. Someone found a Sexy Ken Bone costume for sale on the internet.
On Wednesday evening, the New York Times reported the accounts of two women who had briefly met Trump. Jessica Leeds said she had sat next to him on a plane, moving to another seat after being groped by his "octopus" hands. Rachel Crooks said she saw him outside an elevator, and he "kissed [her] directly on the mouth.” Then the trash compactor broke, and the decades-old garbage started flooding the sink. Miss Arizona said Trump would stroll into their changing room. Other women told the Guardian and Buzzfeed the same thing. A former Miss Washington wrote on Facebook, "He probably doesn’t want me telling the story about that time he continually grabbed my ass and invited me to his hotel room." Mindy McGillivray recounted the time at Mar-a-Lago when Trump "grabbed [her] ass." Footage from a 1992 Entertainment Tonight Christmas special showed Trump looking at a 10-year-old child and saying, “I am going to be dating her in 10 years. Can you believe it?” A People Magazine reporter wrote about the time at Mar-A-Lago when Trump kissed her, said they would have an affair, and bragged about his New York Post headline, "Best Sex I Ever Had." The story ended, "And, just for the record, Mr. Trump, I did not consent." Cinemontage spoke to picture editors who worked on The Apprentice. “Trump’s favorite word was ‘drill,’” one said. “He was always saying between takes, ‘I’d like to drill her." A reminder: In 1999, Donald Trump told Chris Matthews it would be unwise for him to run for president. “Can you imagine how controversial I’d be? You think about him [Clinton] and the women. How about me with the women? Can you imagine?”
When the New York Times called Trump to ask about the allegations, he started shouting. “You,” he yelled, "are a disgusting human being!" His team said he'd sue the newspaper, but instead just sent an email asking for a retraction. He has threatened to sue many reporters, media outlets, and political entities in the past year. His campaign advisors are vowing to go to war over the reports, which leads to the inevitable follow-up question: Then what have we been watching this whole year?
Meanwhile, third-party candidate Evan McMullin was cheered by an adoring crowd in Utah. Trump and Clinton are tied in the state, which hasn't voted for a Democrat in 50 years. Jerry Falwell Jr. said he'd vote for Trump even if he had left a trail of sexual assault in his greasy wake. In return, students at his school formed a group called Liberty United Against Trump, saying, "a man who constantly and proudly speaks evil does not deserve our support for the nation's office." Mark Burnett said he is not supporting Trump. Katrina Pierson went on TV and argued that the sexual assault never could have happened because first class on '80s airplanes had fixed armrests. Her theory was quickly debunked. Gary Johnson released a statement about "allegations of inappropriate behavior by Donald Trump towards mowmen (sic)." Bloomberg reported that Trump's team, realizing that their options for attracting voters are limited, are eager to convince young women not to vote for Clinton by talking about the many allegations against Bill — and unveiling more — for the rest of the election. “With rape culture being what it is," deputy campaign manager David Bossie explained, "these facts are going to shock millennial women. There will not be a millennial woman who will want to vote for her when these facts come out.”
Earlier in the day, at least four Republican legislators who had unendorsed their nominee got back on the Trump train, leaving their ballot allegiances as murky as Trump's plan to fight ISIS. No one who re-endorsed has double-unendorsed — yet.
The U.S. launched cruise missile strikes in Yemen after a failed attack on a Navy destroyer.
In the morning, Joe Scarborough said if he had been sexually assaulted by Donald Trump, he would have spoken up after the Megyn Kelly thing. Trump's new hotel in D.C. has reduced rates, responding to low demand. Trump started lashing out against the women who accused him on Twitter.
"This is disgraceful," Michelle Obama said in New Hampshire. "It is intolerable. Doesn't matter what party you belong to. No woman deserves to be treated this way. No one deserves this kind of abuse. I know it's a campaign, but this isn't about politics. It's about basic human decency."
A former Trump construction executive told CNN, "I do believe it. Yes, absolutely. He's a blatant sexist." Bill Clinton's accusers — Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, and Juanita Broaddrick — as well as Kathy Shelton, whose rapist was represented by Hillary during her time as a public defender in 1975, will be interviewed on Sean Hannity's show tonight. Trump says he will release evidence to disprove his accusers at the "appropriate time." Lou Dobbs tweeted a link that posted Leeds's address and phone number, and Buzzfeed wrote about a clip of Trump laughing when Howard Stern called him a sexual predator in an interview.
Wikileaks released more emails. The Backstreet Boys song "I Want It That Way" has played at several Trump rallies. American Psychological Association reports that 52 percent of Americans think the 2016 election has been a cause of significant stress. Time Magazine released a cover featuring an orange face that looks like a runny egg yolk melting. A new poll showed that 69 percent of likely voters in North Carolina do not have a different opinion of Trump after watching the tape. A Trump supporter in Florida told CBS News that President Clinton would ban the words "Merry Christmas." Ken Bone is now the star of an Uber promotion.
This week isn't even over yet.
There are 26 days until this Vine of a crying elephant pooping on a map of America of an election year is over. There are less than 100 days left in Barack Obama's presidency. If each of the four weeks remaining in this election last as long as the past six days have, we will have to endure 1,537 Groundhog Days until this is over, at which point we will have learned how to play every Mozart song and imbibed 985 glasses of vermouth on the rocks. There are countless days from November 9 until the moment the sun obliterates us all.
Here is a clock that will tell you the exact moment the election ends in your state.