It was a dramatic escalation of personal attacks as he sought to deflect fallout from his own sexually aggressive comments.
Trump sent a tweet Sunday after a growing list of elected Republican officials have called on him to abandon his presidential campaign. Juanita Broaddrick's lawsuit against Bill Clinton accusing him of rape was dismissed in 2001 and criminal charges were never filed. Incumbent President George H.W. Bush, Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton and Ross Perot participated and it was well-received.
Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri told reporters on Clinton's campaign plane: "We understand that this is unchartered territory.to face an opponent that is in the grips of a downward spiral in terms of his own party belatedly walking away from him".
"The results show that almost all voters have heard about the video and most rate it negatively, but Trump's supporters are not abandoning him right away", said Kyle Dropp, Morning Consult co-founder and chief research officer.
Republican reaction to the videotape came fast and furious, with some calling on him to step aside or allow running mate Mike Pence to take over, while others simply withdrew their endorsement.
That wasn't sufficient. Hours later, Trump released a video message: "Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am".
Giuliani warned that Trump could well go after Clinton's past marital troubles with her husband Bill, the former president. He is struggling to overcome deep skepticism among women about his temperament and qualifications to be commander in chief.
Clinton, who is seeking to become the nation's first female commander-in-chief, is nearly certain to call out Trump about the footage during the debate. In a 2002 interview with Howard Stern, Trump also said he preferred leaving women over a certain age.
"There is no accountability for Donald Trump in the - in the ridiculous and sexist things that he has said and racist things that he has said over the past few years", she said on ABC's This Week.
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Outside Mr Trump's small cadre of advisers, support for the businessman was scarce among prominent Republicans following Friday's release of the 2005 videotape. "The party needs to get behind him and support him". Rob Portman, New Hampshire Sen. Wisconsin voter Jean Stanley donned a shirt proclaiming "Wisconsin Women Love Trump" and called Mr Ryan a "traitor" for denouncing the presidential contender's comments.
Trump insists he won't leave the race, and he and allies (those that remain, at least) indicate he'll go on the attack against Clinton.
Republican leaders have scheduled a conference call for House GOP politicians, who are out of town for Congress' election recess. An email obtained by The Associated Press doesn't specify the topic for the call, but rank-and-file lawmakers believe it's about Trump.
The firestorm was sparked by the video obtained Friday by The Washington Post and NBC News. Trump already had an uphill battle to win the White House in the November 8 election before disclosure of a 2005 video in which he could be heard talking crudely about women. "You can do anything ... grab them by the p--y. You can do anything". ".Because what he says about women, I can't respect a man like that".
Donna Brazile - interim head of the Democratic National Committee - notes that some states have begun early voting and mailed absentee ballots with Trump's name on it. Brazile says attempts to change the ballots would be "very confusing" to voters.
Just how far the damage extends beyond Trump's candidacy remains to be seen.
The recording nearly completely overshadowed the release of hacked emails from the Clinton campaign that revealed the contents of previously secret paid speeches to Wall Street. "But it's what she says behind closed doors ... that I don't trust her to do that". Such comments were distinctively at odds with her tough talk about trade and Wall Street during the primary campaign.
Tim Kaine, Clinton's running mate, suggested that while audience members would have questions about Trump's treatment of women, the former secretary of state meant to stick to basic issues like the economy and national security.