Women did come forward with accusations of sexual assault months ago. The New York Times ran a long story on Trump “crossing the line” with women — including, allegedly, kissing and groping them without their permission — back in May. A former Miss USA–pageant contestant claimed that Trump had groped her in a Facebook post published in June. And the full trail of sexual-assault allegations against Trump goes back decades, to depositions from the mogul’s first divorce, in which Ivana Trump accused her ex-husband of rape.
The GOP candidates could have exposed Trump:
If Marco Rubio wanted to make Trump’s mistreatment of women a central story line in the GOP primary, he could have introduced Alicia Machado’s story at a Republican debate. Or his campaign could have leaked Trump’s most retrograde Howard Stern comments to CNN. Or he could have highlighted the many accusations of sexual assault already reported and on the record. He chose not to do so.