[Content Note: Violence against women apologia.]

Yesterday, Donald Trump doubled, tripled, and quadrupled down on defending his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, against charges that he physically assaulted Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields. This sustained defense is absolutely incredible, as he borrows every move from the Rape Apologia 101 playbook (right down to "destroy a man's life), repurposed for physical assault:

Donald Trump, speaking to reporters on what appears to be his private jet: I looked at the tape—there's not even a change of expression on her face! And then I looked at internet, and you take a look at the tweets, and people are saying, "You gotta be kidding me!" [crosstalk as reporters ask questions] I think it's something that's disgraceful. I think that you, as a reporter, and all of you as a reporter, probably get treated a lot rougher than that on a daily basis. I have never seen anything like it. I cannot imagine how they did it. He's got a very good lawyer; they will fight it. I told him he should never settle that case. And I know that's not to my—that is not to my benefit—but I think when people see that tape, and they take a look at that tape, and they take a look at her initial statement, before she knew that she was on tape—take a look at that; you have to see it. You take a look at her initial statement; it sounded like she got thrown out of a building. You take a look at that, and you, and then— [reporter interrupts him] Excuse me?

Female Reporter off-camera: She did get bruises on her arm.

Trump: I don't know if they were bruises from that! Why? Who said they were bruises from that?! How do you know those bruises weren't there before?

Female Reporter off-camera: That's what the police said—

Trump: I don't know what the police said! How do you know those bruises weren't there before?! I'm not a lawyer! But she said she had a bruise on her arm. I mean! To me, you know, if you're gonna get squeezed, wouldn't you think that she would have yelled out a scream or something if she has bruises on her arm? She— Take a look at her— Take a look at her facial expression. Her facial expression doesn't even change! So, you know, you say bruises on her arm—how did they get there? Who put 'em there? I don't know that he put 'em there! In any event, I'm sticking up for a person because I'm not gonna let a person's life be destroyed over somebody that we have on tape and— You just take a look at what people are saying when they see that incident on tape. And no jury, in my opinion, no jury would convict a man and destroy a man's life over what you witnessed.
Keep this guy as far the fuck away from the White House as possible.

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In other Terrible Trumpery news, there was another Republican townhall last night. Each remaining candidate was given an hour with Anderson Cooper, so it was basically three hours with terrible men. CNN has the complete transcript of Trump's turn, which was right in the middle, and he was a fucking disaster. He clearly doesn't know how anything works, from the federal government to his own website.

At one point, Anderson Cooper actually said the actual words to him: "Sir, with all due respect, that's the argument of 5-year-old." Welp.

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