Shortly before the second presidential debate, Donald Trump held a press conference with three women — Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, and Paula Jones — who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault. Hillary Clinton’s campaign must forthrightly address those accusations.

Clinton cannot credibly argue that abusive comments made by Trump disqualify him for the presidency while treating the revived accusations against her husband, the former President Clinton, as inconsequential. It is not enough to protest that “Bill Clinton isn’t running for president, Hillary is.” Nor is it enough to dismiss Trump’s revival of the accusations against Bill Clinton as a political stunt. Trump’s press conference certainly was a political stunt — as has been the Clinton campaign’s use of Alicia Machado’s accusations against Trump. But political stunt or not, all of these accusations of sexual assault — the accusations against Donald Trump and the accusations against Bill Clinton — need to be taken seriously.

If Hillary Clinton and her campaign regard Broaddrick’s, Willey’s, and Jones’s accusations as being without merit, then they need to make that case. They must not simply deflect the accusations.

John-Charles Duffy