Shortly before the second presidential debate on Sunday night, Republican candidate Donald Trump broadcast an unusual presser on Facebook Live, the social network’s live video streaming service.
Trump appeared alongside three women who alleged that Bill Clinton, former president and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s husband, had sexually harassed or assaulted them: Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick, and Kathleen Willey. A fourth woman, Kathy Shelton, argued that Hillary Clinton had damaged her reputation in the ’70s when the presidential hopeful, then an attorney, defended a man who Shelton said had raped her.
The presser arrived in the wake of revelations about Trump making lewd comment about groping women in a video that surfaced on Friday.
Onlookers took to Twitter to denounce the move, which Trump had billed as debate prep.
Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter of Trump’s memoir 1987 The Art of the Deal, wrote “Chilling to see desperation Trump feels by pulling together Bill Clinton accusers pre-debate. Once attacked these very women himself.”
Chris Sacca, a prominent venture capitalist, said “Who knew? Facebook Live does indeed work when broadcasting underwater from a sinking ship.”
Reshma Saujani, founder of the nonprofit organization Girls Who Code, said, “After this stunt @realDonaldTrump is more disgusting and shameless than I thought. Wow. So sad and desperate.”
Tom Nichols, a professor at the U.S. Naval War College, said, “This presser is one more indication that Donald Trump is completely insane.”
The debate began at 9:00 pm ET at Washington University in St. Louis.