After repeatedly attacking Bill Clinton for sexual impropriety during his White House tenure, thrice-married GOP frontrunner Donald Trump told reporters Tuesday that his own extramarital exploits are also fair game in the 2016 campaign but that he’s confident that bringing up the former president’s affair will “come out very well for us.”
Asked during a press conference on his campaign plane whether his personal indiscretions should be considered “fair game” — as he has characterized Bill Clinton’s affair with intern Monica Lewinsky and other rumors of sexual impropriety — Trump replied: “They would be.”
“Frankly, Hillary brought up the whole sexism thing and all I did was reverse it on her,” he said, referencing Clinton’s accusations that Trump has “a penchant for sexism.”
“She’s got a major problem that happens to be right at her house,” Trump added. “So if she wants to do that, we’re going to go right after the president, the ex-president. We’ll see how it all comes out. I feel very confident that it will come out very well for us.”
The GOP frontrunner has directly referenced Clinton’s sexual improprieties in recent days.
“You look at whether it's Monica Lewinsky or Paula Jones or many of them,” he said on NBC’s TODAY on Tuesday. “That certainly will be fair game. Certainly if they play the woman's card with respect to me, that will be fair game.”
Trump, whose extramarital exploits with second wife Marla Maples provided explosive tabloid fodder, has not always been a critic of the former president’s private life.
In the late 1990s, Trump wrote that Clinton should have refused to answer questions about Monica Lewinsky because Americans “don’t care” about the personal lives of politicians.
“He should also have declined to answer, rather than perjure himself," he wrote at the time. "If the Clinton affair proves anything it is that the American people don’t care about the private lives and personal of our political leaders so long as they are doing the job.”
Asked Tuesday about his previous friendship with the former president, whom Trump invited to his wedding in 2005, Trump said that “as a world-class businessman, you have to get along with everybody.”
“I owed it to myself, to my family, to my company, to my family, to my employees to get along with everybody,” he said. “As a businessman, I want to get along with everybody.”
The real estate mogul also disputed criticism that his language has been alienating to minorities while catering to economically frustrated white voters, saying that he is “extremely inclusive.” He said that longtime KKK leader David Duke is “certainly” wrong to say that Trump is more radical than him.
Asked about the suggestion from the Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol that Republicans would have to start a third party to run against Trump if he becomes the GOP nominee, Trump responded with his trademark insult.
“He’s as negative as he can be, because he’s a loser.”