Donald Trump mentions 'rape' accusation during attack on Bill Clinton

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Donald Trump Accused Bill Clinton of Rape

In a Fox News interview Wednesday night, Donald Trump escalated his rhetoric on former President Bill Clinton, raising decades-old allegations from his history with various women.

Fox News anchor Sean Hannity asked Trump to comment on a recent New York Times exposé that highlighted the real-estate mogul's alleged treatment of women in the workplace.

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Hannity appeared to counter the Times report by highlighting women who have, at various times, accused Bill Clinton of misconduct.

"Are they going to interview Juanita Broaddrick? ... Paula Jones? ... Kathleen Willey?" Hannity asked.

The host suggested that those women accused the former president of a range of offenses, including "exposure," and "groping and fondling."

"And rape," Trump added.

"And rape," Hannity repeated.

Trump has mentioned Bill Clinton's history with the three women before. Jones accused Clinton of exposing himself to her at an Arkansas hotel in the early 1990s. Clinton denied the accusation but eventually paid $850,000 as part of a settlement. Willey, a former White House volunteer, accused Clinton of grabbing and kissing her in the White House in 1993 — also an accusation Clinton has denied.

Broaddrick alleged in 1999 that Clinton had sexually assaulted and raped her more than two decades before. She revived those allegations earlier this year. Clinton, through a lawyer, has long ago denied her claims.

RELATED: Potential VP picks for Trump

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Donald Trump mentions 'rape' accusation during attack on Bill Clinton

Plan A: Chris Christie

Though often now seen in the billionaire's shadow and as the butt of jokes, Christie is a serious contender for the No. 2 spot on Trump's ticket. The brash Republican governor took a big risk endorsing Trump long before he became the presumptive nominee, and was one of the earliest and biggest establishment Republicans to do so. The two men have a friendship going back years, and both are known for an attack-dog style of leadership. The billionaire places a high premium on the loyalty of his surrogates and, together, the two political pugilists would be a formidable pair.

REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

Plan B: John Kasich

An arguably bigger get for Trump would be perennial thorn-in-side candidate John Kasich. Though functionally vanquished from contention months before he dropped out, the Ohio governor did win his own state primary convincingly and could prove critical for Trump to compete there. This would be especially true if Clinton opts for the state's senior senator Sherrod Brown as her pick (see Democrats, Plan A). 

As a happy warrior who eschewed much of the campaign's uglier moments, the jovial Ohio governor would go a long way toward "professionalizing" the Trump brand and putting establishment nerves at ease. Unfortunately, the governor has signaled he is not interested — for now.

REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

Dark Horse: Jim Webb

Now, if you're thinking, "Hey wait a minute, didn't that guy run for president as a Democrat?" the answer is yes, but the campaign was so ephemeral that you'd be forgiven for not noticing. Though he's nominally a Democrat, Webb's hawkish foreign policy and tough domestic stances put him painfully out of sync with the modern Democratic party. After flirting with a vengeful third-party run, Webb went on record to say he would not vote for Clinton and was open to voting Trump. Like Trump, Webb is passionate on veterans' issues and, as a former Virginia senator, could help the billionaire compete in that state. Nominating the crotchety ex-Democrat would position Trump well to not only shore up his white male voting blocs, but potentially also draw in moderates looking for bipartisan bonhomie.

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Trump on Wednesday said those cases were about "big settlements, massive settlements."

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee has often framed his attacks against Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton around the alleged improprieties of her husband. One anti-Clinton Instagram post earlier this year invoked Bill Cosby and Monica Lewinsky, and ended with a Daily News cover of Bill Clinton under the headline, "Liar, Liar."

Hillary Clinton's campaign has said previously that it would not engage in Trump's personal attacks. The campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

For his part, Bill Clinton also declined to engage Tuesday when asked about Trump's assertion, in a tweet, that he was the "worst abuser" of women in US political history.

"I think people are smart enough to figure this out without my help," Bill Clinton said.

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