It was the moment that forced a cable television anchor to sigh with exasperation.
Amid reports that Donald Trump’s campaign is to go “buck wild” over Bill Clinton’s sexual history, a senior Republican official on Thursday demanded the network interview the former president’s “illegitimate son” - raising a long-debunked conservative conspiracy theory.
Many of Utah’s senior Republican leaders have denounced Mr Trump and said they will not support him. However, the party’s chairman, has reaffirmed his backing.
“Make no mistake, Donald Trump is an insurgent candidate who has rattled the political establishment to its core; and as such, they are fighting back with all they have,” James Evans said in a recent statement.
On Thursday, Mr Evans appeared on CNN where he discussed the latest allegations of sexual assault to have been leveled at Mr Trump. The New York Times was one of a series of media organisations to to publish claims from women who said that the Republican presidential candidate had assaulted them.
“We are the party of family values,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the interview you have with Bill Clinton’s illegitimate son.”
The anchor, Carol Costello, replied: “Oh no, that’s just rubbish. He does not have an illegitimate son. You have no proof of that.”
The false claim that Mr Clinton had a secret son, Danney Williams, was first reported by a tabloid newspaper in 1992. It said that the former president had fathered Mr Williams with an Arkansas sex worker.
The story was debunked in 1999 when a paternity test proved Mr Clinton was not Mr Williams’s father. Despite that, a number of conservatives, and Mr Williams, have continued to repeat the claim.
As Mr Evans continued to speak, Ms Costello cut him short. She said he had been complaining about salacious tales and had then dropped “that one”. She added: “I’ve got to go.”
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