Off his message again: Trump vows to sue all female accusers

GETTYSBURG (AP) — Throwing his campaign off-kilter once again, Donald Trump vowed Saturday to sue every woman who has accused him of sexual assault or other inappropriate behavior. He called them “liars” whose allegations he blamed Democrats for orchestrating.

Trump’s blunt threat of legal action eclipsed his planned focus on serious-minded policy during a speech in Gettysburg. Though his campaign had billed the speech as a chance for Trump to lay out a to-do list for his first 100 days as president, he seemed unable to restrain himself from re-litigating grievances with Hillary Clinton, the media and especially the women who have come forward in recent days.

“All of these liars will be sued once the election is over,” Trump said. He added later: “I look so forward to doing that.”

Ten women have publicly accused Trump of unwanted advances or sexual assault in the weeks since a 2005 recording emerged in which the former reality TV star boasted about kissing women and groping their genitals without their consent. Trump has denied all allegations while insisting some of the women weren’t attractive enough for him to want to pursue.

“Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign,” he said. Without offering evidence, he surmised that Clinton or the Democratic National Committee had put the women up to it.

Trump’s broadside against the women came at the start of an otherwise substantive speech that sought to weave the many policy ideas he has put forward into a single, cohesive agenda that he said he would pursue aggressively during his first three months in office.

The Republican nominee vowed to lift restrictions on domestic energy production, label China as a currency manipulator and renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, familiar themes to supporters who have flocked to his rallies this year.

“This is my pledge to you, and if we follow these steps, we will once again have a government of, by and for the people,” Trump said, invoking a phrase from President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

Though mostly a rehash of policies he’s proposed before, Trump’s speech included a few new elements, such as a freeze on hiring new federal workers and a two-year mandatory minimum sentence for immigrants who re-enter the U.S. illegally after being deported a first time. In a pledge sure to raise eyebrows on Wall Street, he said he’d block a potential merger between AT&T and media conglomerate Time Warner.

Translating his proposals into digestible bullet points, he offered to-the-point titles for the legislative vehicles he’d need Congress to approve to accomplish his goals, such as the “End Illegal Immigration Act” and the “Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act.”