‘All of these liars will be sued when the election is over’: Donald Trump denounces accusers



Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a news conference at Trump Tower on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, in Manhattan, N.Y. (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

GETTYSBURG, PA. — Donald Trump launched another late attempt to fix his sagging campaign Saturday, delivering a speech billed as a closing argument in a hotel ballroom near the battlefield that turned the direction of the Civil War.

Yet, even as Trump praised Abraham Lincoln for uniting the country, Trump laced his Gettysburg speech with familiar charges of a rigged election and corrupt media, along with a new vow to sue 10 women who have accused him of sexual misconduct.

“All of these liars will be sued when the election is over,” Trump told a small audience at the Eisenhower Hotel.


Trump’s aides had previewed the speech as a policy address that would highlight his first hundred days in office.

But almost all of the promises had been made before in other speeches and press releases. They include steep tax reductions, a border wall with Mexico, a constitutional amendment limiting terms for members of Congress and the cancellation of billions of dollars in payments for United Nations climate change programs.

He added new details to a recent proposal to impose mandatory minimum criminal sentences for immigrants who return to the U.S. illegally after they have been deported and a promise to freeze most federal government hiring.

Trump had given a similar speech in June, during another low point in his campaign, laying out eight promises for his first 100 days in office. Among them: appointing conservative judge, repealing and replacing President Obama’s healthcare law; and lifting restrictions on energy production. Saturday, Trump tried to frame the closing argument in the choice between him and Hillary Clinton as a battle between the establishment and the working class.

“Hillary Clinton is not running against me,” Trump said. “She’s running against change and she’s running against all of the American people and all of the American voters.”

Trump has accused the press repeatedly this week of ignoring three recent national polls that show his campaign ahead of Clinton’s — including the Los Angeles Times poll that showed him leading by a fraction of a percentage point as of Saturday. The majority of national polls, along with those from key battleground states, show Trump facing an exceedingly difficult deficit.

A top campaign aide conceded during a call with reporters on Friday night that Clinton was leading, and accused her of running out the clock to avoid a stumble.


Trump has vacillated in recent days between bravado and tentative talk about confronting the possibility of a loss. In three speeches Friday, he mentioned Britain’s vote in June to leave the European Union, known as the Brexit, which defied predictions from many experts. Trump alternately described his campaign as “beyond Brexit,” “Brexit-plus,” and “Brexit times five.”

Many of his supporters are convinced he will win, agreeing with him that the news media is in cahoots with Clinton to shape coverage and manipulate polls to depress turnout among his voters.

“I hate seeing stuff about the polls,” said Jacqueline Catapano, a 35-year-old nurse who attended a boisterous rally in Newtown, Pa., on Friday. “It’s a tactic from their side to get people to think we’re already defeated.”

Yet if Trump often sounds like a guy on a bar stool when he gives a speech, he may be entering the phase when the euphoria of four beers gives way to wistful tales over a fifth. He sounded subdued during Saturday’s policy speech, read from a teleprompter to a seated crowd.

A few minutes into a speech at the fairgrounds in Fletcher, N.C., on Friday, Trump broke off from a riff about American workers and promised that he, too, would work harder. He promised four daily campaign appearances going forward, maybe just two on slow days, “right up until the actual vote on Nov. 8.”

Then Trump said something approaching humility. It was, after more than a year of nonstop hyperbole, almost as shocking as some of the bombast.

“And then I don’t know what kind of shape I’m in, but I’ll be happy that at least I will have known, win lose or draw — and I’m almost sure if the people come out, we’re going to win — but I will be happy with myself,” he said. “Because I don’t want to say, I don’t want to think back, if only I did one more rally.”

“I would have won North Carolina by 500 votes instead of losing it by 200 votes,” he said. “I never want to ever look back.”


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