Trump’s former campaign manager said on Saturday that “we don’t have to go back” to the way things were in the 1990s, when the two parties had their bitter rivalry over a perceived slights to women.
“It was very much a two-sided fight,” Mike Murphy said in an interview with The Hill.
“But there was a very strong mutual respect.
I think I know the way that it was.
And I think it’s going to be a lot more open and honest and productive.”
Murphy was part of a team that helped defeat former President Bill Clinton in the 1992 election, a bitter outcome that ended a campaign that had been plagued by allegations of sexual misconduct.
He left the campaign in early 1999 and worked for Trump for several years, helping him develop a television network and become a star on the Apprentice.
Murphy’s comments came after Trump said on Friday that he and Hillary Clinton would “be best friends forever” and that he wouldn’t be a candidate for president in 2020 if she did not become the first woman to win the presidency.
“Hillary Clinton, as a woman, I just want to say thank you,” Trump told the crowd in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Friday night.
“You know, I don’t know how many women, I guess you could say that, maybe more than half, I think maybe more.”
Trump said Clinton was “doing very well” and “not at all a victim” of sexual harassment by a variety of men and women, and accused her of lying about being raped by Bill Clinton and her husband, former President George H.W. Bush.
“You know what, she did it,” Trump said.
“And she lied about it.
I was raped by her husband.”
Trump did not name any women who accused him of sexual assault during the campaign.
But Murphy said the women who were willing to go public had more to gain than Clinton.
“I think what Hillary Clinton did was, as you know, she told the truth,” Murphy said.
Trump has also accused Clinton of sexual abuse, including when he was a young lawyer in the late 1970s, and of groping and kissing women without consent.
Murphy said that while Trump had tried to silence these claims, he “had to stop a lot of them.”
“When you get in a room with a woman you want to kiss her, he doesn’t let you,” Murphy added.
“We’re going to start having a lot less of that, and a lot fewer of these people who don’t want to go to the press.”
Clinton’s campaign has accused Trump of making a false statement in his remarks to the crowd, including a claim that “Bill Clinton is a serial abuser and sexual predator.”
The Clinton campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump, who was born in 1946, is now a U.S. senator from New York and has been in office for less than a year.
He is scheduled to campaign in New Hampshire on Friday, with a stop in Boston on Saturday.