NBC, ABC Interrogate Clinton Accuser: Aren’t You Just a Trump ‘Prop’?

Immediately following Sunday night’s presidential debate, ABC and NBC set about trying to discredit Bill Clinton’s sexual assault accusers who attended the event as guests of Donald Trump. In a clip aired on ABC’s Good Morning America on Monday, correspondent Tom Llamas grilled former Clinton White House aide Kathleen Willey backstage: “Do you think Donald Trump used you as a political prop today?”

Willey replied: “No. Not at all.” Llamas pressed: “You don’t think you were just there to scare Hillary Clinton?” Willey pushed back: “I don't feel – if I felt that way, I wouldn't be here. Hillary Clinton is a fake feminist. A champion of women does not attack the victims of sexual assault. Period.” After the clip, Llamas noted: “Now both Bill and Hillary Clinton have denied those accusations.”

On NBC’s Today, correspondent Hallie Jackson featured a similar exchange with Willey after the debate. She began by parroting Clinton campaign talking points: “Their presence at the debate seen as a political stunt and distraction by top Clinton campaign officials.” Jackson demanded of Willey: “Do you worry you're being used as a distraction by Donald Trump to change the conversation?” Willey answered: “Absolutely not. No.”

Jackson continued: “Why not?” Willey responded: “Well, because I think we have a message. I don't think I'm a distraction.”

Tell the Truth 2016

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Here are transcripts of both exchanges aired on the October 10 morning shows:

GMA
7:10 AM ET

(...)

TOM LLAMAS: Two of the women telling me after the debate they did not feel like they were being used by Trump.

[TO KATHLEEN WILLEY] Do you think Donald Trump used you as a political prop today?

KATHLEEN WILLEY: No. Not at all.

LLAMAS: You don’t think you were just there to scare Hillary Clinton?

WILLEY: I don't feel – if I felt that way, I wouldn't be here. Hillary Clinton is a fake feminist. A champion of women does not attack the victims of sexual assault. Period.

LLAMAS: Now both Bill and Hillary Clinton have denied those accusations. One of the accusers told me last night she was not paid to be there. But the campaign did cover their travel costs.

(...)


Today
7:47 AM ET

(...)

HALLIE JACKSON: Among the women Trump was referring to, Paula Jones, who sued Bill Clinton for sexual harassment. The suit, settled in 1998 for $850,000 and the provision Clinton did not have to admit any wrongdoing.

Kathleen Willey, a former White House volunteer aide who said Clinton assaulted her during his first term. Clinton denied that allegation. An independent prosecutor later found there was insufficient evidence to prove the claim.

And Juanita Broderick, who accused Clinton of raping her while he was running for governor of Arkansas in 1978. Clinton was never charged and denied the accusation. Initially, Broderick filed an affidavit saying there was no assault, but later recanted. Their presence at the debate seen as a political stunt and distraction by top Clinton campaign officials.

[TO KATHLEEN WILLEY]: Do you worry you're being used as a distraction by Donald Trump to change the conversation?

KATHLEEN WILLEY: Absolutely not. No.

JACKSON: Why not?

WILLEY: Well, because I think we have a message. I don't think I'm a distraction.     

(...)

Tell the Truth 2016 NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential Debates Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats ABC Good Morning America NBC Today Video Kathleen Willey Hallie Jackson Tom Llamas

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