Report: Trump Refused to Prepare Campaign for Sex Scandals
When a man like Donald Trump decides to run for office, his campaign's first order of business is to compile all possible attacks that the other side can use against him, to prepare counter-attacks and learn the full extent of damage any rival can inflict. According to a bombshell report from Bloomberg News's Kevin Cirilli, Trump himself shot down his staff's requests to do this pivotal self-opposition research, thus opening himself to scandals like the Access Hollywood outrage and worse.
"Corey Lewandowski, Trump's first campaign manager, requested that Trump submit himself to a forensic evaluation that is traditional for any public figure seeking office, according to people granted anonymity to speak freely about the campaign's start-up days last year," Cirilli reported Thursday. "Opposition research would allow Trump's new political team to prepare for potential attacks on his candidacy."
The Washington Post published a tape of remarks Trump made to Access Hollywood host Billy Bush in 2005, where the billionaire infamously described how women would allow him to abuse them, even going so far as to let him "grab them by the p***y." On Wednesday, both The New York Times and People magazine reported allegations from women who say Trump sexually abused them. The candidate flatly denied these accusations.
Even in denying the accusations, however, Trump opened himself to more criticism about sexism. He implied that he did not consider People writer Natasha Stoynoff enticing enough to sexually assault.
Had the campaign been allowed to investigate Trump's past, it might have discovered some of these damning stories, and prepared the right responses to them. Instead, fallout from the Access Hollywood comments have severely damaged Trump's credibility, as concerns created an avalanche of criticism from more than 40 elected members of his party (including House Speaker Paul Ryan).
But Trump's aversion to in-house opposition research was not limited to Corey Lewandowski's time in leadership.
Next Page: How Trump shot down Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, even Kellyanne Conway on this vital issue of preparedness.