Donald's Great Escape: Trump keeps his campaign alive with barnstorming comeback after confronting Hillary with four Clinton 'sex victims' - and she FAILS to nail him over sleazy tape scandal
- Second presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump has taken place in St Louis
- The two candidates locked horns throughout the bitter debate, which Trump backers said he won
- Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani described the night as a 'home run', for Trump in the spin room
- Clinton opened saying she is concerned about 'some of the things being said and done in this campaign'
- Trump said the controversial remarks he made in 2005 that were revealed Friday were 'locker room talk'
- However, moderator Anderson Cooper pulled Trump up on it, saying he 'bragged' about assaulting women
- Donald Trump also told Hillary Clinton that should would be in jail if he was in charge of the country's laws
- The Republican also accused the moderators of being biased against him, saying it was 'three on one'
- Before the debate, Trump held a press conference with women who have accused Bill Clinton of rape
- The women sat in the front row for the debate – just feet from Clinton, the woman they earlier condemned
The debate night that will be discussed for generations in Political Science classes – and Women's Studies seminars – ended with Republican Donald Trump landing more punches than Democrat Hillary Clinton, and successfully deflecting attention successfully away from a two-day-old crisis about graphic sexual language that threatened to derail his White House bid.
In the first debate at Hofstra University 13 days earlier, Clinton sat back and let Trump hang himself. But on Sunday her quiet patience gave him room to roam and dominate.
Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who has been among Trump's most forceful defenders, summed up the real estate tycoon's performance with two words in the post-debate spin room: 'home run.'
'I think the momentum is going to switch, like that,' Giuliani told DailyMail.com, snapping his fingers. 'It was one of the biggest victories in a presidential debate, ever.'
Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta called Trump 'desperate' and called him 'incoherent' in policy discussions.
Neither candidate appeared in the hall where reporters waited to grill them. For Clinton, that was par for the course. For Trump, it marked his first such absence in any debate in which he's participated in 2016 and 2015.
Clinton established herself as a superior bureaucrat Sunday night with more mature knowledge of foreign policy minutiae and a more intelligible way of communicating details about how laws are made.
But Trump won on points in what has become the Year of the Outsider, playing to a national television audience that polls show are weary of Washington's same-old same-old and eager for new blood.
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Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton shakes hands at the end of the second presidential debate in St Louis, Missouri, on Sunday
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton speak to each other at the end of Sunday's debate
Republican candidate Donald Trump stands on the debate stage as a clock in front of his shows time has run out for an answer
Republican nominee Donald Trump (left) is pictured speaking during Sunday's debate, while Hillary Clinton leans on a chair (right)
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton takes notes during the second presidential debate against Donald Trump
Extraordinary moment: Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick and Kathy Shelton were seated close to Bill Clinton for the debate and arrived just minutes after publicly accusing him of sexual attacks and his wife of abusing women
The eyes have it: At times Bill Clinton's face suggested he was not happy with his own alleged crimes and misdemeanors being raised in the debate. He was in the family box with daughter Chelsea and her husband Marc Mezvinsky
He had Clinton playing defense for most of the 90-minute clash, saying she would be 'in jail' if he ran the Justice Department – a reference to her classified email scandal – and declaring that she had 'tremendous hate in her heart' when she branded 'half' his supporters as 'deplorables.'
He even bested her on her recollection of her own tenure at the helm of the U.S. State Department.
Trump recalled that Clinton was secretary of state when President Barack Obama drew his now-infamous rhetorical 'red line' in Syria, ineffectively warning Bashar al-Assad not to use chemical weapons against insurgents and civilians.
Clinton insisted she had retired from the government by the time that happened. Not so: Obama dared Assad to cross his line in August 2012, six months before Clinton’s term ended.
Sunday night's showdown, the second of three before the Nov. 8 presidential election, launched with a bang in St. Louis, Missouri.
There was no handshake at the top. Only polite nods at each other. The white-hot stares, straight ahead, came 90 minutes after Trump held a photo-op press event featuring four women with sex-assault accusations from the Clintons' past.
The first question of the debate was expected to focus on lewd remarks revealed Friday in an 11-year-old audiotape of Trump. But it was milder, asking Clinton about the overall tone of the 2016 campaigns.
The temperature at Washington University in St. Louis dropped. No fireworks. No first blood.
For two minutes.
DONALD TRUMP'S FIERY OPENING ON BILL CLINTON'S PAST
Then Trump found himself behind the 8-ball, with co-moderator Anderson Cooper telling him bluntly that he had admitted to 'sexual assault' in the audio – referring to a remark saying that powerful men could touch women whenever they wanted. 'Grab them by the p***y,' he said as one example.
'You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women,' Cooper charged.
Trump insisted, as he did Friday night, that 'this was locker room talk. I'm not proud of it.'
But then he turned the discussion on the Clintons.
'If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse,' trump jabbed. 'Mine were words, his were actions.'
'Bill Clinton was abusive to women. Hillary Clinton attacked those women, attacked them viciously.'
Earlier in the night Trump had hosted a press event with Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Kathy Shelton.
Melania Trump is seen walking away from the stage after the conclusion of the second presidential debate on Sunday night
Hillary Clinton campaign vice chair Huma Abedin (R) and Democrat Hillary Clinton (L) at the end of the second Presidential Debate
Donald Trump kisses his daughter Ivanka Trump as his son Donald Trump Jr. watches after the second presidential debate
GOP nominee Donald Trump holds a finger in the air while on stage during the second presidential debate in St Louis
Broaddrick accused former President Clinton of raping her when he was the Arkansas attorney general. She later pointed a finger at Hillary Clinton for intimidating her into silence as her husband launched his 1992 bid for the presidency.
Willey and Jones made similar accusations against this year's Democratic nominee for the White House.
He also noted that Shelton was sitting in the front row. The Arkansas native was 12 when she was raped by a 41-year-old drifter. Hillary Clinton was her attacker's lawyer.
'Her client – she represented – she got him off,' Trump said, recalling that she was recorded 'laughing [about the case] on two separate tapes.'
Giuliani later remarked that 'if you listened to them when they had their own press conference, it wasn't just that Bill Clinton raped them, assaulted them or took sexual advantage of them.
'It was that Hillary Clinton attacked them. One of them was a 12-year-old girl. And Hillary Clinton got the rapist acquitted and then laughed about it.'
Trump was on a tear Sunday night, recalling that the former president 'was impeached, lost his license to practice law' because he lied to Congress about his affair with a young White House intern named Monica Lewinsky.
'When Hillary brings up a point like that and she talks about words that I said 11 years ago, I think it's disgraceful and I think she should be ashamed of herself,' Trump said.
Trump's partisans in the audience cheered and applauded.
'So much of what he said is not right,' Clinton protested.
'I'm reminded of what my friend Michelle Obama advised us all: When they go low, you go high.'
Her claque in the auditorium screamed and hollered.
Democratic nominee for president Hillary Clinton on stage during the second debate as Republican candidate Donald Trump frowns
Members of the audience look on on Hillary Clinton speaks to them and answers a question during the second presidential debate
Republican nominee Donald Trump makes a gesture with his hand while speaking during Sunday night's presidential debate
Republican nominee Donald Trump (right) discusses with is daughter Ivanka Trump (second right) his wife Melania Trump (second left) and his daugher in law Lara Yunaska (left)
Former President Bill Clinton (left) speaks to his daughter Chelsea Clinton (center) and her husband Marc Mezvinsky (right)
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump glares at Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as she speaks
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton looks on during the second presidential debate at Washington University
Hillary Clinton and Donald Clinton appear on the debate stage as the audience claps during the town hall event on Sunday night
Podesta, Clinton's campaign chairman, praised the Democrat after the debate and declared Trump the loser.
'He was on the attack the whole evening. I think he wanted to throw her off her game with the stunt that he pulled at the beginning,' he told DailyMail.com, referring to how Trump brought up the past sex abuse claims against Bill Clinton. 'He clearly didn't do that, and I think that to the extent that that was his goal I think he failed.'
'Trump is desperate. He's trying to take this race to a place in the gutter, and we're not going there,' Podesta said.
DONALD GETS DEFENSIVE OVER HOT MIC CONTROVERSY
Trump bristled at having to respond to his sexually graphic words from 2005.
He complained that 'where you have ISIS chopping off heads ... when you have wars and horrible, horrible sights happening,' talking about his lewd banter was a waste of time.
'Yes, I'm very embarrassed by it. I hate it. But it's locker-room talk, and it's one of those things. I will knock the hell out of ISIS,' he said.
Trump insisted: 'I have great respect for women. Nobody has more respect for women than I do. I said things ... but I have tremendous respect for women. And women have respect for me.'
Cooper asked Trump repeatedly if he had ever made unwanted sexual advances on a woman, or touched her without consent.
'No, I will tell you, I have not,' he responded.
Former president Bill Clinton waits for the start of the second presidential debate in St Louis, Missouri, on Sunday night
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump listens as Hillary Clinton speaks during Sunday's second presidential debate
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton take the stage at the start of their presidential town hall debate
Republican Donald Trump (L) and Democrat Hillary Clinton (R) during the second Presidential Debate at Washington University
Focus: Bill Clinton was repeatedly the focus of the debate as Donald Trump raised allegations he was ab abuser of women, while Hillary cited his economic record in office
Ending: Bill Clinton appeared pensive as he left the stage after the end of the debate
HILLARY GOES ON THE ATTACK
Clinton responded more patiently and philosophically.
'Like everyone else, I've spent a lot of time thinking over the last 48 hours about what we heard and what we saw,' she said.
After saying she had disagreed with previous Republican nominees on substance, 'Donald Trump is different. I said back in June that he was not fit to serve as president and commander-in-chief.'
'What we all saw and heard on Friday was Donald talking about women, what he thinks about women, what he does to women,' she charged.
'And he has said that the video doesn't represent who he is. But I think it's clear to anyone who heard it that it represents exactly who he is.'
'He has also targeted immigrants, African-Americans, Latinos, people with disabilities, POWs, Muslims, and many others.'
'This is not who we are.'
Trump shot back: 'It's just words, folks. it's just words. Those words, I've been hearing them for many years.'
The first question of the debate was expected to focus on lewd remarks revealed Friday in an 11-year-old audiotape of Trump. But it was milder, asking Clinton about the overall tone of the 2016 campaigns. Clinton responded first
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton stand together prior to the second debate
Donald Trump's children at the start of the second Presidential Debate at Washington University in St. Louis
TRUMP'S TIRADE ON 'HATEFUL' HILLARY
Trump's biggest zinger came when Clinton was asked about a fundraising speech where she said 'half' of Trump's voting base belong in 'baskets of deplorables,' and branded the same group as 'irredeemable' because of their views.
Trump pushed back, framing himself as a uniting force in the face of divisive rhetoric.
'We have a divided nation because of people like her. Believe me, she has tremendous hate in her heart.'
The line drew audible gasps in the auditorium.
When she said "deplorables," she meant it. When she said "irredeemable" – "they were irredeemable," you didn't mention that – but when she said they were irredeemable, to me that might have been even worse.'
'She has tremendous hatred. This country cannot take another four years of Barack Obama and that's what you are getting with her,' Trump said.
TV monitors in the press room show Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton on stage at the second presidential debate
Ivanka Trump at the start of the second Presidential Debate on Sunday night at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump smiles at Hillary Clinton as the two walked onto the stage at the start of the debate
TRUMP TALKS TOUGH ON HILLARY'S EMAILS
The two candidates got into another angry exchange after the moderators raised the issue of Clinton's classified email scandal.
The Democrat delivered a stock response, saying, 'That was a mistake and I take responsibility for using a personal email account ... I'm not making any excuses. It was a mistake and I'm very sorry about that.'
Clinton pledged that she was 'very committed' to taking classified information seriously.
Trump countered: 'And yet she didn't know the letter "C" on a document,' referring to Clinton's statement to the FBI that she didn't recognize that marking for classified information.
'She didn't even know what that letter meant,' Trump fumed.
'And she's lying again ... do you think it was fine to delete 33,000 emails?' Trump asked rhetorically. 'I don't think so.'
'For you to say that there was nothing wrong with you deleting 39,000 [sic] emails again, you should be ashamed of yourself, what you did,' Trump said, adding that Clinton should be 'put in jail.'
'It's just not true,' Clinton tried to respond, saying, 'Well we turned over 35,000 emails' to the State Department, but Trump cut her off.
'Please allow her to talk,' moderator Anderson Cooper jumped in, scolding Trump that Clinton allowed him to speak.
'That's true I didn't,' Clinton agreed.
'Because you have nothing to say,' Trump shot back.
Clinton replied: 'Its just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law of our country.'
'Because you'd be in jail,' he snapped.
'Okay Donald, I know you're into big diversion,' Clinton said, shifting gears. 'Anything to avoid talking about your campaign and the way it's exploding and the way Republicans are leaving you.'
Donald Trump stands and points his finger at Hillary Clinton as he speaks during the second presidential debate on Sunday
Republican nominee Donald Trump interrupts Hillary Clinton as she answers a question during the second presidential debate
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton greets Melania Trump before the start of the second U.S. presidential debate
THE DONALD, OUTNUMBERED?
Amid deafening silence after the email remark, the moderators tried to go to an audience question, but Trump complained about the quick shift – complaining it was 'one on three' – him against Clinton, Cooper and ABC's Martha Raddatz.
When Trump tried to take a question when it apparently was Clinton's turn, the former secretary of state was diplomatic: 'He wants to start, he can start.'
'No, I'm a gentleman, Hillary, that's okay,' Trump said, drawing laughter in the press filing room where hundreds of reporters passed judgment.
Forty people, selected by Gallup after submitting questions, were on hand to query the candidates along with the two TV news personalities.
A general view shows the press center for the second presidential debate between Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton
(L-R) Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick, Donald Trump, Kathy Shelton and Paula Jones held a photo-op in St. Louis, Missouri on Sunday before the second presidential debate
SUNDAY'S SCANDALOUS BUILD UP AND THE GOP'S TROUBLED WEEKEND
Sunday's backdrop was all about Friday's tawdry scandal: The Trump campaign found itself sucker-punched with the audio tape that revealed him making vulgar and sexually explicit comments about women 11 years ago.
That stunning development drove elected Republican officials, both the conscientious and the weak-willed, away from their party's standard-bearer.
It brought President Barack Obama out of the woodwork to shame the GOP's nominee to succeed him. It drove countless Democrats to try their hand, carnival-game-style, at delivering the knockout blow on Sunday morning television.
But it also stiffened Trump's resolve. He has said consistently for 16 months that 'the dishonest media' were out to get him, and bemoaned the necessity of battling Clinton while also absorbing hits from biased news outlets.
Few reporters have drawn what may be an obvious parallel between the crudeness of Trump's remarks – he joked about celebrity giving men license to grab women 'by the p***y' – and Clinton's history of looking the other way while her husband engaged in behavior more abusive than what Trump named.
In addition to Broaddrick's claim that Bill Clinton violently raped her, others blame him for unwanted groping. Hillary Clinton said last year that sexual assault victims 'have the right to be believed.'
She later dismissed them as unbelievable.
Trump himself tweeted his words on the old tape were mild in comparison to Bill Clinton's typical golf-course talk. Americans elected Mr. Clinton twice.
As the Republican Party has plunged into disarray following Friday's revelation, the debate represents Trump's best chance to unify the GOP behind him.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll on Saturday showed Trump lagging five points behind Clinton nationally.
An average of polls maintained by Real Clear Politics shows Clinton up in every survey except the Los Angeles Times/USC Tracking poll, which has Trump up by three points.
As the Trump campaign continues trying to regain unity amongst the party, Hillary Clinton and her campaign have remained virtually silent since the Trump audio was released.
Clinton released an initial statement condemning the comments on Twitter, but remained strategically silent otherwise.
Trump went on a Twitter rampage on Saturday and Sunday, retweeting Broaddrick's allegations against Bill Clinton in addition to his own tweets lashing out at the Republican party.
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani said Trump wouldn't hesitate to talk about 'the women that Bill Clinton raped, sexually abused and attacked'.
Giuliani said Trump will cast Hillary Clinton's 'as the attacker' of women when she claims to be their champion.
On Sunday afternoon, president Barack Obama suggested that Trump insults people because he's 'insecure.'
Without saying Trump's name, he said there's a reason why the Republican presidential candidate has denigrated veterans, people with disabilities, Mexicans and others during the 2016 campaign.
Obama said: 'It tells you that he's insecure enough that he pumps himself up by putting other people down.'
Earlier Sunday, Trump tweeted thanks to his supporters and slammed the elected Republican officials who have abandoned him.
'Tremendous support (except for some Republican "leadership"). Thank you,' Trump wrote.
'So many self-righteous hypocrites. Watch their poll numbers - and elections - go down!' he added.
Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick, and Kathy Shelton sit in the audience before the debate between Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani arrives with Kathy Shelton at the second presidential debate in St Louis
Juanita Broaddrick (left) appeared alongside Donald Trump to point an accusatory finger at the former president and blame his wife – Trump's opponent Hillary – for cowing her into silence
Juanita Broaddrick listens during a meeting with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump ahead of Sunday's debate
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