Presidential debate audience bursts into laughter as Donald Trump calls himself a 'gentleman'

Mr Trump referred to himself as a 'gentleman' days after a leaked recording surfaced of him making lewd comments about sexually assaulting women

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The Independent US

Donald Trump provoked a burst of laughter from those watching the second presidential debate after he referred to himself as a “gentleman”, days after a leaked recording surfaced of the Republican candidate making obscene sexual comments about women.

As Sunday night’s debate between Mr Trump and Hillary Clinton became increasingly frantic with continued interruptions - particularly from Mr Trump - both candidates began to tussle over whose turn it was to answer questions from the moderator first.

After one such incident, Ms Clinton said “Go ahead, Donald”, to which Mr Trump replied, “”No, I’m a gentleman Hilary, go ahead,” prompting loud laughter from the audience at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri.

Mr Trump’s remark follows the surfacing of a tape on Friday, in which he brags about attempting to seduce a married woman before boasting about feeling permitted to grope women because of his celebrity in conversation with Access Hollywood host Billy Bush in 2005. 

“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful – I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything […] Grab them by the p****. You can do anything,” Mr Trump is heard saying in the recording.

Mr Trump has issued an apology since its release and defended the comments as “locker room talk” several times during the debate.

Twitter said the debate was the most tweeted ever, with more than 17 million debate-related posts sent, and Mr Trump’s “gentleman” remark was one of the most mentioned moments.

Actor Luke Mitchell dubbed the comment: "The single most ridiculous thing that has been said during this circus."  

During the debate, Ms Clinton dubbed the recording as “this is who Donald Trump is”, adding: “We've seen him insult women, we've seen him rate women on their appearance, ranking them from one to 10, we've seen him embarrass women on TV and on Twitter.”

In retaliation, Mr Trump criticised Ms Clinton's husband, former president Bill Clinton, accusing him of abusing women. In a press conference held before the debate, Mr Trump sat with alleged victims of Mr Clinton who accused him of rape and sexual harassment.

“Mine were words, his was action,” Mr Trump said of Mr Clinton. “What he's done to women, there's never been any body in the history of politics in this nation that's been so abusive to women.”

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