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Read Donald Trump's bizarre, frightening speech responding to sexual assault allegations

Trump Holds Campaign Event In West Palm Beach, Florida Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Libby Nelson is Vox's policy editor, leading coverage of how government action and inaction shape American life. Libby has more than a decade of policy journalism experience, including at Inside Higher Ed and Politico. She joined Vox in 2014.

At a rally in West Palm Beach, Florida, Donald Trump fired back against the accusations from women that he had sexually assaulted them. He said the New York Times story claiming he had assaulted a woman on an airplane was a “totally fabricated and false story.”

He seemed to imply that a People magazine reporter who accused him of kissing her against her will wasn’t attractive enough: “Take a look. You look at her. Look at her words. You tell me what you think. I don't think so.”

He said he was preparing a lawsuit against the New York Times, saying reporters “collaborate and conspire directly with the Clinton campaign.”

And Trump’s rants didn’t stop there. He attacked Hillary Clinton, saying she should be “locked up”; accused the “Clinton machine” of engaging in a historically unprecedented cover-up; and said Clinton “meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of US sovereignty.”

A partial transcript follows.

First, Trump attacked the “corrupt establishment”

TRUMP: The establishment has trillions of dollars at stake in this election. As an example, just one single trade deal they'd like to pass involves trillions of dollars controlled by many countries, corporations, and lobbyists.

For those who control the levers of power in Washington and for the global special interests, they partner with these people that don't have your good in mind. Our campaign represents a true existential threat, like they haven't seen before. This is not simply another four-year election. This is a crossroads in the history of our civilization that will determine whether or not we, the people, reclaim control over our government. The political establishment that is trying to stop us is the same group responsible for our disastrous trade deals, massive illegal immigration, and economic and foreign policies that have bled our country dry. The political establishment has brought about the destruction of our factories and our jobs, as they flee to Mexico, China, and other countries all around the world.

Our just-announced job numbers are anemic. Our gross domestic product, or GDP, is barely above 1 percent and going down. Workers in the United States are making less than they were almost 20 years ago, and yet they are working harder, but so am I, working harder. That I can tell you. It's a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth, and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.

Just look at what this corrupt establishment has done to cities like Detroit, Flint, Michigan, and rural towns in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, and all across our country. Take a look at what's going on. They've stripped away these towns bare and raided the wealth for themselves and taken our jobs away, out of our country, never to return unless I'm elected president. The Clinton machine is at the center of this power structure.

We've seen this firsthand in the WikiLeaks documents in which Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of US sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special interest friends, and her donors.”

Trump told a cheering crowd Clinton “should be locked up”

TRUMP: So true. Honestly, she should be locked up. She should be. Should be locked up. And likewise, the emails show that the Clinton machine is so closely and irrevocably tied to the media organizations that she — that she, listen to this — is given the questions and answers in advance of her debate performance with Bernie Sanders.

Hillary Clinton is also given approval and veto power over quotes written about her in the New York Times. They definitely do not do that to me. And the emails show the reporters collaborate and conspire directly with the Clinton campaign on helping her win the election all over.

With their control over our government at stake, with trillions of dollars on the line, the Clinton machine is determined to achieve the destruction of our campaign. Not going to happen. Which has now become a great, great movement, the likes of which our country has never seen before, never ever. They've never seen a movement like this in our country before. Yesterday in Florida, massive crowds. People lined up outside of big arenas, not able to get in. Never happened before. It's one of the great phenomenons. It's one of the great political phenomenons.

The most powerful weapon deployed by the Clintons is the corporate media, the press. Let's be clear on one thing. The corporate media in our country is no longer involved in journalism. They're a political special interest, no different than any lobbyist or other financial entity with a total political agenda, and the agenda is not for you. It's for themselves.

Trump said the media had “a war” against him

TRUMP: And their agenda is to elect crooked Hillary Clinton at any cost, at any price, no matter how many lives they destroy. For them, it's a war. And for them, nothing at all is out of bounds. This is a struggle for the survival of our nation. Believe me. And this will be our last chance to save it on November 8. Remember that.

This election will determine whether we're a free nation, or whether we have only an illusion democracy but in are in fact controlled by a small handful of special global interests rigging the system, and our system is rigged.

This is reality. You know it, they know it, and pretty much the whole world knows it. The establishment and their media neighbors wield control over this nation through means that are very well known. Anyone who challenges their control is deemed a sexist, rapist, xenophobe and morally deformed. They will attack you. They will slander you. They will seek to destroy your career and your family. They will seek to destroy everything about you, including your reputation. They will lie, lie, lie, and then again they will do worse than that.

They will do whatever is necessary. The Clintons are criminals. Remember that, they're criminals. [Crowd chanting "Lock her up."]

This is well documented, and the establishment that protects them has engaged in a massive cover-up of widespread criminal activity at the State Department and the Clinton Foundation in order to keep the Clintons in power. Never in history have we seen such a cover-up as this.

One that includes the total destruction of 33,000 emails, 13 iPhones, some by hammer, laptops, missing boxes of evidence, and many, many other things. People who are capable of such crimes against our nation are capable of anything.

Trump said the claims against him were “absolutely false”

TRUMP: And so now we address the slander and libels that was just last night thrown at me by the Clinton machine and the New York Times and other media outlets as part of a concerted, coordinated, and vicious attack.

It's no coincidence these attacks come at the exact same moment, and all together at the same time as WikiLeaks releases documents exposing the massive international corruption of the Clinton machine, including 2,000 more emails just this morning.

These vicious claims about me of inappropriate conduct with women are totally and absolutely false. And the Clintons know it. And they know it very well. These claims are all fabricated. Full of fiction and outright lies.

These events never, ever happened. And the people that said them fully understand.

You take a look at these people. You study these people and you'll understand also. The claims are preposterous, ludicrous, and defy truth, common sense, and logic. We already have substantial evidence to dispute these lies, and it will be made public in an appropriate way and at an appropriate time very soon.

These lies come from outlets whose past stories and past claims have already been discredited. The media outlets did not even attempt to confirm the most basic facts because even a simple investigation would have shown that these were nothing more than false smears.

Trump continued his attack on a New York Times’ story in May about his lack of boundaries with women

Six months ago the failing New York Times wrote a massive story attacking me. And the central witness they used said the story was false. That she was quoted inaccurately. She said I was a great guy. She had great courage, I'll be honest with you. She was an amazing person. And never made those remarks, that I was a great guy, and never made the remarks. When I read the story, I was sort of surprised, how could she say that? And she didn't say it.

We demanded a retraction, but they refused to print it. Just like they refused to take the comments from another source, who praised me in her book, or the words of another wonderful woman who said really nice things about me. They put other statements that she didn't say. They misrepresented. The story was a fraud and a big embarrassment to the New York Times.

And it was a big front-page story, front page, center, color picture, a disgrace. They were very embarrassed. It will be part of the lawsuit we are preparing against them.

Now today, the same two discredited writers, who should have been fired from the New York Times for what they did, tell another totally fabricated and false story that supposedly took place on an airplane more than 30 years ago. Another ridiculous tale. No witnesses. No nothing.

Trump attacked a People magazine reporter’s account of him kissing her

TRUMP: Then there was a writer from People magazine who wrote a story on Melania and myself on our first anniversary.

The story was beautiful. It was beautiful. It was lovely. But last night we hear that after 12 years, this took place 12 years ago, this story, a new claim that I made inappropriate advances during the interview to this writer. And I ask a very simple question, why wasn't it part of the story that appeared 20 — or 12 years ago? Why wasn't it part of the story? Why didn't they make it part of the story? I was one of the biggest stars on television with The Apprentice, and I would have been one of the biggest stories of the year.

Think of it, she's doing her story on Melania, who's pregnant at the time. And Donald Trump, our one-year anniversary. And she said I made inappropriate advances. And, by the way, the area was a public area. People all over the place. Take a look. You look at her. Look at her words. You tell me what you think. I don't think so. I don't think so.

But it is amazing, doing a story, a love story, on how great we are together. And by the way, we are stronger today than we ever were before, which is great. But it's a love story. It's a love story on our one-year and if I did that she would have added that, it would have been the headline. And who would have done that if you're doing this and you're one of the top shows on television?

These people are horrible people. They're horrible, horrible liars. And interestingly, it happens to appear 26 days before our very important election. Isn't that amazing? This invented account has already been debunked by eyewitnesses who were there. They were there. The very witness identified by the author has said the story is totally false. By the way, this is a room everybody can see in. It's got glass walls. It's at Mar-a-Lago. Can you believe this? Why wasn't it in the story? Biggest story of the year.

This weekend the New York Times published a full-page hit piece with another claim from an individual who has been totally discredited based on the many, many emails and letters she has sent to our office over the years looking for work. Donald is great. Wanting to go to my rallies.

But the New York Times, and this was a full op-ed piece, refused to use the evidence that we presented. Refused to use it. If they used it, if they would have looked, they would have said, there's no story here. Others in the media, which almost surprises me because they're dishonest also, were presented with this story by this woman numerous times. And they got very excited. But after seeing the evidence we immediately give them, all of them refused to write the story. There was no story.

The Times, though, didn't want to see it. They just wrote the story. This was a full page opposite the editorials. This is part of a concerted effort led by the New York Times and others. Now, the New York Times is fighting desperately for its relevance and financial survival. And it probably won't even be around in a few years based on its financial outlook. Which wouldn't be a bad thing, if you want to know the truth.

But as it winds down its years and it's becoming more and more problematic, it's gotten more and more vicious, more and more vile, and even the other mainstream media is talking about the single greatest pile-on in history and all between now and November 8. And you have to see the stories they've written. It's one after another after another. And facts mean nothing.

Third-rate journalism. The great editors of the past from the New York Times and others, ladies and gentlemen, are spinning in their grave. I will not allow the Clinton machine to turn our campaign into a discussion of their slanders and lies, but will remain focused on the issues facing the American people. [Cheers and applause ] [Crowd chanting "Trump"]

Trump claimed Clinton was behind the new allegations

Thank you. Thank you. But let me state this as clearly as I can. These attacks are orchestrated by the Clintons and their media allies. The only thing Hillary Clinton has going for herself is the press. Without the press, she is absolutely zero. And you saw that the other night in the debate where some people said she made virtually a fool of herself. This is not presidential material, believe me.

What they say is false and slanderous in virtually every respect. We are now less than a month from the most important election of our lifetime. Indeed, one of the most important elections in the history of our country. And the polls are showing us in a dead heat. Don't believe what she said. The new highly respected poll just came out this morning, just released, shows us nationally 2 points ahead, Trump. Just came out.

So, now the Clinton machine has put forward a small handful of people, out of tens of thousands of people over the years that I've met, that I've worked with, that I've employed, in order to make wild and false allegations that fail to meet even the most basic test of common sense. Not even common sense. Again, this is nothing more than an attempt to destroy our movement and for the Clintons to keep their corrupt control over our government. When I declared my candidacy, I knew what bad shape our country was in.