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Vox Sentences: “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.” —Donald Trump

Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what's happening in the world, curated by Dara Lind and Dylan Matthews. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions.

This campaign generates more news after 5 pm on a Friday than most campaigns generate in a month.

"You can do anything."

Donald Trump and Melania Trump George Pimentel/WireImage
  • Donald Trump, 2005: “I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.” [Vox / Libby Nelson]
  • The above quote was secretly taped on the set of Access Hollywood in 2005. (Trump said it to Billy Bush, currently a Today show host.) [CNN Money / Brian Stelter]
  • Let's be clear here. Bragging about being able to "do anything" to a woman, including grabbing her genitals, without even "wait"ing, because you're famous, is an endorsement of sexual assault.
  • This is Trump's typical line: He says in public what others say in private. [Kasie Hunt via Twitter]
  • But many voters (specifically white women) hear that line differently when the statements aren't about immigrants, but about them. Trump's driven a remarkable number of women into Clinton's camp already. [Washington Post / Philip Rucker]
  • Republicans are worried that the leaked tape might be the last nail in the coffin. [Phil Mattingly via Twitter]
  • The "elect Trump, impeach him, make Mike Pence president" Hail Mary option might be looking legitimately appealing. [Vox / Akhil Reed Amar]
  • Bear in mind that this came out on a day that had previously been dominated by the news that Trump still believes the "Central Park FIve" — who were exonerated by DNA evidence for a crime for which another man is currently in prison — were guilty, because they confessed to police. [Huffington Post / Matt Ferner]
  • And that shortly after the 2005 tape was leaked, a story came out quoting Trump saying in 1989 about the Central Park case, "Maybe hate is what we need if we're gonna get something done." [CNN / Andrew Kaczynski and Jon Sarlin]
  • Luckily for Donald Trump, he will get a chance to explain all of these things at the second presidential debate, which happens Sunday, and for which he does not appear to have prepared much. [Vox / Matt Yglesias]

WikiLeaks makes its move

Steffi Loos/AFP/Getty Images
  • We finally have selections from some of Hillary Clinton's paid Wall Street speeches. On Friday, WikiLeaks posted an email, sent to Clinton adviser John Podesta (whose Gmail account was hacked and leaked to the collective), including selections from the speeches. [BuzzFeed News / Ruby Cramer]
  • The speech quotes are basically a "self-oppo" fact sheet: They list the things Clinton's own team thought would be most damaging in the speeches. (That this is how the speeches finally came to public light is either a dramatic irony or yet another indication of the Clinton team's poor email security hygiene.)
  • There's no smoking gun in the excerpts. They reveal Clinton expressing centrist and free market views on things like balancing the budget and financial regulation, but also praising single-payer health care. [The Intercept / Lee Fang, Zaid Jilani, Alex Emmons, and Naomi LaChance]
  • The late-Friday WikiLeaks dump is a little odd, given that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange teased that he would release something that would change the course of the election on Tuesday night (and then did not do that). [Washington Post / David Weigel]
  • It's also odd since earlier Friday, the US Directorate of National Intelligence and DHS released a rare joint statement formally accusing the Russian government of the hack of Democratic National Committee emails earlier this year, and of trying to use the hacks to influence the election. [Office of the Director of National Intelligence]
  • It's been widely speculated that Russia was behind the DNC and other hacks, but this is the first time the US has gone on the record about it — much less hinted that Vladimir Putin himself signed off on them. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]
  • To be clear: As of last month, the US government didn't believe WikiLeaks was formally tied to the Russian government. But it sure gets a lot of documents from Russian hackers, and the organization's agenda has dovetailed with Putin's. [NYT / Jo Becker, Steven Erlanger, and Eric Schmitt]
  • It is, of course, also widely speculated that Putin is trying to intervene in the election to help Donald Trump. The continued revelations of connections between the two — most recently, that an adviser who urged Trump to take a more "realist" foreign policy approach was lobbying for a Russia-owned firm at the time — don't help. [Politico / Ben Schreckinger and Julia Ioffe]
  • The good news? It would probably be very difficult to hack the actual vote. Probably. [LA Times / Del Quentin Wilber and Brian Bennett]


  • A poop bandit is mailing feces to eminent philosophers from MIT to NYU to UC Merced. Evidence suggests the perpetrator might be a prominent UChicago philosopher — or that that philosopher is getting framed. [BuzzFeed / Katie Baker]
  • From the "things that sound like urban legends but actually aren't" file, it turns out that hurricanes really can induce labor in pregnant women. [The Atlantic / Adrienne LaFrance]
  • As the roommate of a 19-year-old cat, I (Dylan) interpret this profile of a 31-year-old cat primarily as a personal challenge. [Bored Panda]
  • Why learning to code in 2016 is way, way harder than it has to be. [Hacker Noon / Jose Aguinaga]
  • The University of Ghana is removing a statue that professors and students protested as racist. The statue was of Mahatma Gandhi — whose views on Africans (whom he derided as "kaffirs" and "half-heathen natives") were legitimately horrifying. [The Guardian / Jason Burke]


  • "Marx is a warning about what can happen when people defy their parents and get a Ph.D." [New Yorker / Louis Menand]
  • "NBA players are instructed to flush their condoms down the toilet or take them so women can’t use the sperm to impregnate themselves, Rose’s lawyer said." [AP]
  • "I don't think that there's some sort of magic language that we can use to make religious conservatives feel like you respect our perspective on human sexual ethics when you don't actually." [Ross Douthat to Slate / Isaac Chotiner]
  • "It seems that students of all races — white, black, Latino, and Asian — have more positive perceptions of their black and Latino teachers than they do of their white teachers." [NPR / Anya Kamenetz]
  • "Tourists from the Basque region in northern Spain can heave a sigh of relief: they can now visit Iceland without the threat of being killed on sight." [Telegraph / Harriet Alexander]

Watch this: Colombia’s fragile peace, explained

President Santos won the Nobel Peace Prize — but Colombia rejected his peace deal. [YouTube / Jennifer Williams, Joe Posner, Joss Fong, Carlos Waters, and Liz Scheltens]

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