Pre-debate salvo: Donald Trump holds press event with women who accuse Bill Clinton of sexual misdeeds

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump convened a meeting of women who accuse former President Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct in St. Louis ahead of debate with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
The Republican presidential nominee held the press conference less than two hours before his crucial debate with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, who is Mr Bill Clinton's wife. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM FACEBOOK
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has held a press event with women who accuse former president Bill Clinton of sexual misdeeds. PHOTO: AFP

ST LOUIS (REUTERS, AFP) - Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump convened a meeting of women who have accused former president Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct, just hours before a debate with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton on Sunday night (Monday Oct 10 morning, Singapore time).

The women were Ms Paula Jones, who has accused Mr Clinton of propositioning her and exposing himself; Ms Juanita Broaddrick, who claims he sexually assaulted her; Ms Kathy Shelton, who says Mrs Clinton defended a man who victimised her; and Ms Kathleen Willey, who claims Mr Clinton groped her.

None of the accusations was new. Mr Clinton was never charged in any of the cases, and he settled a sexual harassment suit with Ms Jones for US$850,000 (S$1.17 million) with no apology or admission of guilt.

All four are expected to be in the audience at the second presidential debate between Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton.

"These four very courageous women have asked to be here," Mr Trump said.

He had threatened to talk about Mr Clinton's past infidelities during the debate and has stepped up the attacks against the former president since Friday when a 2005 video emerged of Mr Trump making vulgar comments about women.

Clinton spokesman Jennifer Palmieri said: "We're not surprised to see Donald Trump continue his destructive race to the bottom. Hillary Clinton understands the opportunity in this town hall is to talk to voters on stage and in the audience about the issues that matter to them, and this stunt doesn't change that.

"If Donald Trump doesn't see that, that's his loss. As always, she's prepared to handle whatever Donald Trump throws her way."

While Mr Clinton was president in 1998, the Republican-led House of Representative voted to approve articles of impeachment accusing him of perjury for misleading a grand jury about the nature of his relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

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