During a disastrous four-day stretch last week, Donald Trump lost the first presidential debate, entered into a war of words with a beauty pageant winner, encouraged his Twitter followers to “check out” a nonexistent sex tape, resurrected his years-old feud with Rosie O’Donnell, and was accused of trying to violate the U.S.-embargo on Cuba. As bad as that was, somehow his weekend was worse.
Early Friday afternoon, following Trump’s false accusations that former Miss Universe Alicia Machado starred in a sex tape, BuzzFeed News reported that Trump himself appeared in a softcore porn film released by Playboy in 2000. “Beauty is beauty, and let’s see what happens with New York,” Trump says during his brief appearance, before pouring champagne over a Playboy logo.
On Saturday night, The New York Times dropped a bombshell report revealing that Trump claimed $916 million in losses on his 1995 tax returns, which means he could have easily avoided paying federal income taxes for the next 18 years. Trump didn’t even bother denying the report; instead his camp issued a statement praising the nearly $1 billion in losses as an example of how well Trump knows the tax code’s flaws, which they said only he could fix as president, while his attorney emailed the Times to threaten “prompt initiation of appropriate legal action” over the story.
Meanwhile, as news of the Times report was spreading, Trump showed up at a rally in Pennsylvania Saturday night an hour and a half late, and then proceeded to deliver one of his more unhinged, rambling speeches to date. At one point, he went off-script to deliver a bizarre, boastful rant about movies.
“Right now, you say to your wife: ‘Let’s go to a movie after Trump,’” he said. “But you won’t do that because you’ll be so high and so excited that no movie is going to satisfy you. Okay? No movie. You know why? Honestly? Because they don’t make movies like they used to—is that right?”
Later, he insinuated that Hillary Clinton hadn’t been “loyal” to Bill Clinton, and said the media had let her “get away with murder.” He also attacked Clinton for her recent bout with pneumonia, said she “could be crazy,” and repeatedly told the crowd that she “should be in prison.”
Sunday morning, Trump surrogate Rudy Giulliani managed to make the situation worse by defending the thrice-married Trump’s attack on the Clintons’ marriage as well as his own highly-publicized infidelities, telling NBC’s Chuck Todd that “everybody” cheats.
And then, early Monday, the Associated Press published a report alleging rampant sexism on the set of Trump’s The Apprentice. From the report:
Eight former crew members recalled that he repeatedly made lewd comments about a camerawoman he said had a nice rear, comparing her beauty to that of his daughter, Ivanka.
During one season, Trump called for female contestants to wear shorter dresses that also showed more cleavage, according to contestant Gene Folkes. Several cast members said Trump had one female contestant twirl before him so he could ogle her figure.
One former crew member told the AP that Trump would sometimes ask male contestants about having sex with their female counterparts. “We were in the boardroom one time figuring out who to blame for the task, and he just stopped in the middle and pointed to someone and said, ‘You’d f… her, wouldn’t you? I’d f… her. C’mon, wouldn’t you?'” the crew member said. “Everyone is trying to make him stop talking, and the woman is shrinking in her seat.”
With 35 days remaining until the election, FiveThirtyEight puts Trump’s odds of becoming the next President of the United States at just under 32 percent.
UPDATE 1:06 pm: It looks like things just got worse for Trump.
— Katy Tur (@KatyTurNBC) October 3, 2016