Donald Trump is out with a new low-budget attack ad: a short Instagram video—helpfully captioned “Hillary and her friends!”—that is his latest attempt to use Bill Clinton’s sex scandal as a weapon against Hillary Clinton.
That voice you hear is Hillary delivering her iconic speech on women’s rights in Beijing back in 1995. The images, meanwhile, pair Bill with Monica Lewinsky, Hillary with Anthony Weiner, and finally Hillary with Bill Cosby. Subtle.
As my colleague Jamelle Bouie has already explained, reliving Bill Clinton’s sex scandals may rile up Trump fans, but it’s unlikely to hurt Hillary come the general election. Much of the American electorate—and even more of the Democratic one—either doesn’t remember the Lewinsky affair, or doesn’t care.
Making matters theoretically awkward for Trump, though, is something that’s been well documented by now: He’s previously cut checks to the Clinton Foundation, as well as to Hillary's Senate campaign. On top of that, he gave money to Weiner’s congressional campaigns in 2007 and 2010. (Bonus: Trump’s also given money to Chuck Schumer, who gets a small cameo in the ad and who has become a GOP boogeyman on the campaign trail thanks to his role in trying to pass bipartisan immigration reform.)
The Donald maintains those donations—along with all the other money he has stuffed into the pockets of politicians on both sides of the aisle over the years—were simply just the cost of doing business in New York, which is a fair, albeit depressing, point. Wealthy businessmen, like corporations themselves, often cover their bases by sprinkling their donations around. And Trump has been incredibly successful in deflecting the critique that he’s a hypocrite who has done more to put Democrats in power than Republicans by arguing that this was just smart business. But it’s still funny just how many of his current opponents on the other side of the aisle were once his putative allies. Essentially, Trump is arguing that Hillary Clinton, who he once supported, once stood by Anthony Weiner, who he also once supported, and is therefore not a good candidate for women, and now that Trump has turned against both of them, he’s better for women than Hillary.