Hillary Clinton today called US President Donald Trump a “creep” in her new book, saying he made her “skin crawl” at a debate during their bitter presidential campaigns. She says Trump made her feel “incredibly uncomfortable” and was breathing down her neck, while pacing behind her. Both candidates traded insults during the 2016 vicious campaign, and President Trump still uses the nickname “Crooked Hillary” to describe the former first lady.
Reading an extract from her forthcoming book ‘What Happened’ on US news network MSNBC, the 69-year-old former US secretary of state said she did not know how to react as they took to the stage for their second presidential debate last October. “Do you stay calm, keep smiling, and carry on as if he weren’t repeatedly invading your space? Or do you turn, look him in the eye and say loudly and clearly: ‘Back up you creep, get away from me. I know you love to intimidate women, but you can’t intimidate me, so back up.'”
The debate took place just days after a 2005 recording was made public, in which Trump bragged of grabbing women by their genitals and getting away with it because of his status. After an uproar, Trump, 71, apologised and dismissed the conversation as “locker-room talk”.
In her forthcoming book, Clinton says this made her feel even more uncomfortable on the night. “This is not OK, I thought,” she writes. “It was the second presidential debate and Donald Trump was looming behind me. Two days before, the world heard him brag about groping women,” she says. “Now we were on a small stage and no matter where I walked, he followed me closely, staring at me, making faces,” Clinton says.
She says she chose to respond by gripping her microphone tightly, but she sometimes wonders if she should have told Trump to back off. “It certainly would have been better TV,” she says. “I kept my cool, aided by a lifetime of dealing with difficult men trying to throw me off […] Maybe I have overlearned the lesson of staying calm, biting my tongue, digging my fingernails into a clenched fist, smiling all the while, determined to present a composed face to the world,” she adds.