Leaks haunt Clinton and Trump ahead of key presidential debate
This is not the first time Trump has come under fire for sexist and demeaning language, including that for his opponent Hillary Clinton. Photograph: (Getty)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton had a tough Friday ahead of the second presidential debate, both being hit by leaks that could prove damaging to their campaigns.
A 2005 audiotape published by The Washington Post reveals Trump boasting in vulgar terms about trying to have sex with an unnamed married woman and groping women has put the Republican squad in trouble.
Trump is heard saying "when you’re a star, they let you do it".
This is not the first time Trump has come under fire for sexist and demeaning language, including insulting comments about his opponent Hillary Clinton.
Trump in a statement shrugged off the leaked tape as "locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago".
Trump’s comments were condemned by the chairman of the Republican National Committee. "No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever," said Reince Preibus in a statement, Reuters reported.
The new audio does provide Clinton with powerful ammunition just ahead of the debate on Sunday night but an email from her advisers published by Wikileaks has bogged her campaign.
The email appears to contain excerpts of paid speeches to corporations, the transcripts of which the campaign has refused to release.
The US government earlier on Friday formally accused Russia of hacking Democratic Party organisations ahead of the November 8 presidential election.
The speech excerpts could give Trump new fodder for attacking Clinton, who in the speeches voices support for open trade and borders and discusses taking different positions in public than in private.
Sunday’s presidential debate will be a town hall-style event and is seen as critical to Trump as he tries to rebound from a slump in some opinion polls after a rocky performance in the first debate.
(WION with inputs from Reuters)