WASHINGTON ― Donald Trump, the thrice-married Republican presidential nominee, went on at least two networks on Monday night to brag about how he’d managed not to mention Bill Clinton’s “indiscretions” during the first presidential debate that evening.
At one point during the debate, Trump told moderator Lester Holt that he’d planned to say “something extremely rough” to Hillary Clinton and her family, but he decided not to do it. “It’s inappropriate, it’s not nice,” Trump said.
After the debate was over, Trump, who separated from his first wife after an affair with the woman who would become his second wife, went on Fox News to talk more about why he decided not to say the terrible thing he was going to say.
“Her husband was in the room along with her daughter, who I think is a very nice young lady, and I didn’t want to say what I was going to say about what’s been going on in their life, so I decided not to say it,” Trump said. “I thought it would be very disrespectful to Chelsea and maybe to the family, but she said very bad things about me. Worse than what she said, she’s taking these phony ads, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on phony ads, and I think it’s a disgrace that she’s allowed [to do that].”
Next up was an interview with CNN, where Trump said he was happy he “was able to hold back on the indiscretions with respect to Bill Clinton, because I have a lot of respect for Chelsea Clinton, and I just didn’t want to say what I was going to say.”
The real estate mogul suggested to CNN that the horrible things he was going to say about Clinton’s “indiscretions” might come up next time.
“I’ll tell you maybe at the next debate,” Trump said. “We’ll see.”
Trump went on “Fox and Friends” Tuesday morning to once again talk about about how generous it was of him not to specifically mention Bill Clinton’s infidelity during the debate, instead only referencing it during the debate and in at least three television interviews following the debate.
“I was going to hit her with her husband’s women and I decided I shouldn’t do it because her daughter was in the room,” Trump said on Fox and Friends. “I think I did the right thing.”
Later, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” pressed Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway on why he would bring up Bill Clinton’s personal past.
“He could have said what was on millions of Americans’ minds, no doubt, that ‘Are we going to relitigate who has been good to women and who hasn’t?’” Conway said. “They’re taking a couple comments he made over any number of years as a private citizen and ― versus where he could have gone. I think we can all finish the sentence. I mean, people did last night. They finished the sentence. They said you know, maybe he was going to talk about Bill Clinton’s record with women. But he decided not to.”
MSNBC’s Willie Geist asked her whether Trump holds Hillary Clinton responsible for Bill Clinton’s record with women.
“He didn’t say that,” she said.
This post has been updated with Tuesday morning comments from Trump and his campaign manager.