ST. LOUIS — A defiant Donald Trump hit the Twitter waves Sunday, promoting a Bill Clinton accuser while dismissing Republicans who are calling for him to end his presidential bid in the wake of his lewd and aggressive comments about women.
"Tremendous support (except for some Republican 'leadership')," Trump tweeted just hours before a pivotal debate against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. "Thank you."
So many self-righteous hypocrites. Watch their poll numbers - and elections - go down!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2016
Tremendous support (except for some Republican "leadership"). Thank you.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2016
Minutes later, Trump tweeted out a Breitbart News interview with Juanita Broaddrick, a woman who once accused former president Bill Clinton of a sexual assault — a sign that Trump may raise past allegations against Bill Clinton in tonight's debate.
Trump is also under fire from Republican senators, House members and other party members who want him to exit the race after the surfacing of a tape in which he talked about how he could get women any time he wanted because of his wealth, and how he would often start kissing and grabbing them; the tape also revealed Trump's talk about the failed seduction of a married woman.
"While I continue to respect those who still support Donald Trump, I can no longer support him," said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who plans to write in the name of running mate Mike Pence.
In the wake of the story that broke on Friday, other media outlets are rushing forward with Trump tapes of their own.
CNN is reporting that Trump "engaged in crude and demeaning conversations about women over a 17-year-period with radio shock-jock Howard Stern," including sexually suggestive comments about his daughter. Reported CNN: "Among the topics Trump discussed: his daughter Ivanka's physique, having sex with women on their menstrual cycles, threesomes, and checking out of a relationship with women after they turn 35."
The New York businessman, coming off a poorly reviewed debate performance against Clinton, was already seeing his poll numbers drop in key battleground states.
New NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls, taken before the Friday story about the tape, gave Clinton a 3-point lead over Trump in Florida and a 9-point advantage in Pennsylvania. Trump probably needs to win both Pennsylvania and Florida.
Meanwhile, Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani appeared on Sunday shows to defend the candidate over his comments about women.
"He obviously feels very bad about what he said, he's apologized for it," the former New York City mayor told NBC's Meet The Press.
Saying that Trump is "as prepared as he's ever been" for Sunday's debate, Giuliani said, and "what he'd like to do is move onto the issues that are facing the American people."