Donald Trump has attempted to deflect the blistering heat from a leaked sex-bragging tape by favourably comparing his actions to those of Islamic State during a fiery and personal second presidential debate.
His comments came as a leaked 2005 Access Hollywood outtake revealed Mr Trump bragging about sexually harassing and assaulting women.
The tape, which dominated headlines for the following 48 hours, was raised in the debate’s opening minutes.
Mr Trump first dismissed his discussion of sexual assault as “locker room talk”, before attempting to divert attention with a bit of help from the IS terrorist group.
When pressed by moderator Anderson Cooper as to whether he had ever actually grabbed women by the genitals or kissed them without consent, as he claimed in the tape, Mr Trump replied: “No I have not”.
His opponent, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, used the discussion around the tape to raise her opponent’s track record of disrespecting women.
In the lead-up to the debate, Mr Trump called a last-minute press conference featuring four women who have either accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual assault, or Ms Clinton herself of mistreatment.
— Vox (@voxdotcom) October 10, 2016
Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey – who have accused Mr Clinton of sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape respectively – each vocalised their support for the Republican candidate.
Ms Wiley said Mr Trump’s leaked sex-boasting tape could not compared with allegations against Mr Clinton.
A fourth woman, Kathy Shelton, described the trauma of having Hilary Clinton defend the man who raped her at 12 years of age in court.
Despite writing in a 2003 autobiography that she had attempted to get out of defending Ms Shelton’s accused rapist, then-27-year-old Hilary Rodham mounted a defence based on discrediting the 12-year-old as “emotionally unstable”.
The four women sat in the debate audience, along with Hilary Clinton’s family and Donald Trump’s.
Despite the ferocity of the debate, an undeniably American ray of sunshine came at the end, when an audience member asked the two candidates to name one thing they admired about each other.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) October 10, 2016