Presidential races

Scarborough questions timing of Trump accusations

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“Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough on Thursday expressed skepticism about the timing of stories about GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump groping and kissing women without their consent. 

Scarborough suggested the stories could have come out earlier and are instead being released just weeks before Election Day, when they could have the most damage.

{mosads}”Some of these things happened 30 years ago, and they’re all falling days before the election. Is that a coincidence do you think?” Scarborough asked co-host Willie Geist.

Geist then said he though the stories were the result of an opposition research drop by Democrats, which prompted Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin, another panelist, to weigh in. 

Halperin said he didn’t believe it was an opposition research drop, and argued that the women who spoke to The New York Times about past abusive treatment from Trump appeared to come forward after seeing Trump at Sunday’s debate deny that he had ever sexually assaulted a woman.

“I think the Times makes pretty clear, as you just suggested, that a lot of the women who have come forward now are coming forward in reaction to what he said to Anderson Cooper,” said Halperin. “An oppo drop suggests this is being coordinated by the Clinton campaign.”

Halperin then said that he is “always skeptical when stuff comes up, as all reporters should be” before he was cut off by Scarborough.

“I think it’s good to be skeptical when you have stories that are 30 years old that come out days before an election,” Scarborough interjected.

Scarborough then said he did not doubt the women’s stories, but that he questioned the timing.

“Not skeptical of the stories. I’m not skeptical at all of the stories,” he said. “Skeptical of the timing, that all of this has dropped over the past five days.”

He then appeared to question why the women didn’t come forward earlier with their stories.

“Because doesn’t it seem that a more appropriate time to drop these stories might have been after the first Republican debate when the front and center issue was how badly Donald Trump treats women?” he said.

“Megyn Kelly’s first question in the first Republican debate was how horrifically Donald Trump treats women. Now, if this had happened to me 30 years ago, I would say, “This would be a really good time for me to come forward.” Right? Right? Instead of now.

Halperin then noted that the Megyn Kelly questions were about insulting things Trump had said, rather than things he had possibly done with women.

The New York Times on Wednesday published the accounts of two women who said Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, had groped and kissed them inappropriately. Both women said the incident was similar to what Trump described in a 2005 video released last week that showed him bragging about groping women.

A 2013 beauty pageant contestant, a reporter and another woman also came forward with accusations against Trump Wednesday evening.

This story was updated at 12:46 p.m. 

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