Heilemann Denounces Trump Using 'The Rape Card' Against Clintons; Bill 'Is Not Running'

Contributing to the media's rush to discredit Donald Trump's resurrecting of former President Bill Clinton's marital infidelities in his campaign against wife Hillary, Bloomberg's With All Due Respect co-host John Heilemann chided Trump on Thursday for "play[ing] the rape card" and predicted it'd be of no benefit to him going forward towards November.

Heilemann told fill-in co-host Nicolle Wallace that Trump's strategy "could backfire" and even though he was unsure when it would, he recognized that "[i]t is not false" that Clinton faced accusations in decades. 

"Obviously, Trump is not so careful as to say alleged rape or accusations of rape. He just goes right there and says, you know, basically is insinuating that Bill Clinton is a rapist," he complained.

Referring to Trump's most recent interviewer in Fox News host Sean Hannity, Heilemann mocked his suggestion that The New York Times should do an expose on the women at the center of Clinton's indiscretions as they did on May 15 with Trump:

You know, there is an answer to Sean Hannity’s question which is no, The New York Times is not likely to go back and interview — reinterview all these women because Bill Clinton is not running for president in 2016. Hillary Clinton is[.]

Before Wallace stated her agreement "on some counts" and advised Trump to refine his strategy to Hillary's irresponsible enabling of Bill, Heilemann concluded that it won't help him corral any additional voters to his side:

[A]lthough Trump will try to tie Hillary Clinton to Bill Clinton’s past indiscretion, I just do not think that this is an issue that is going to help him with women or going to help him with very many voters that aren’t already in his column.

The relevant portion of the transcript from Bloomberg TV's With All Due Respect on May 19 can be found below.

Bloomberg TV’s With All Due Respect

May 19, 2016

5:07:13 p.m. [1 minute and 54 seconds]

NICOLLE WALLACE: John, at what point, if any, does Trump’s escalating rhetoric about Bill Clinton backfire on him. 

JOHN HEILEMANN: Well, I think it could backfire. I don’t know how soon, Nicolle, but you know, going as far as to play the rape card. Now, there was, in fact, an accusation of rape against Bill Clinton. It is not false that there is an accusation. Obviously, Trump is not so careful as to say alleged rape or accusations of rape. He just goes right there and says, you know, basically is insinuating that Bill Clinton is a rapist. You know, there is an answer to Sean Hannity’s question which is no, The New York Times is not likely to go back and interview — reinterview all these women because Bill Clinton is not running for president in 2016. Hillary Clinton is and although Trump will try to tie Hillary Clinton to Bill Clinton’s past indiscretion, I just do not think that this is an issue that is going to help him with women or going to help him with very many voters that aren’t already in his column.

WALLACE: I — I agree with you on some counts. I think that Trump needs to be cautious in this area. If I were to give him any advice on this specific line of attack against her, it would be to narrow the argument. The argument that I think he wants to make for Hillary Clinton is that she participated in making the women part of this target. She focused her ire on Monica Lewinsky, who she called a narcissistic Loony Toon and she participated ion sort of objecting the women who were, you could argue victims of his power and sexual appetites if you will, so I think Trump has to — I think he’s made perfectly clear, he’s projected this line of attack, he’s already engaged in this line of attack but if he’s going to keep it up and if he thinks it’s going to do him any good, it needs to be narrowed from this campaign and from the thing he’s said and I think it’s ironic that we’re talking about how, before any of the facts were known, he was shooting from the hip on national security, but if you’re going to be talking about sex, you got to be more specific, but I think that’s where we are in this bizarre race of 2016.

Tell the Truth 2016 NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Political Groups Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Political Scandals Sex Scandals Bloomberg TV With All Due Respect Video John Heilemann Nicolle Wallace Bill Clinton Donald Trump Juanita Broaddrick Monica Lewinsky Hillary Clinton
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