We're just halfway through the month, and October is already full of surprises for the 2016 presidential election. Donald Trump’s tax returns were released—and not by him; thousands of emails were leaked from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta; and, of course, there was the Trump tape which caused a number of women to come forward and accuse Trump of sexual assault. If you feel like you’ve missed something, here is (almost) every October revelation thus far.
October 2: The first October surprise drops. The New York Times publishes Donald Trump’s tax records which he previously refused to release. The records obtained by The New York Times reveal that Trump declared a $916 million loss on his 1995 income tax returns. The newspaper speculates that the loss could have allowed Trump to legally avoid paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years. During the first presidential debate, and before his tax records were released, Trump said he was “smart” to not pay taxes. It is still unknown who sent The New York Times the documents.
October 7: WikiLeaks releases 2,050 of “well over 50,000” emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta's private email server. Among them are excerpts of paid speeches given by Clinton before she began running for president. Her former opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, repeatedly called for her to release transcripts of her speeches, but she refused during the primaries. The most notable excerpts come from private speeches Clinton presented to Wall Street bankers. According to AP news, Clinton said “she favored ‘open trade and open borders’ and said Wall Street executives were best-positioned to help reform the U.S. financial sector.” Clinton supposedly received around $26.1 million in speaking fees.
After dissecting the emails, it is later discovered that Clinton also divulged national security secrets during these private speeches. During one, Clinton mentioned the details of the Osama bin Laden raid. Clinton and Podesta also exchanged unsecured emails discussing and ultimately exposing intelligence sources on the ground in Libya and Iraq, and a surprise Kurdish attack against ISIS.
The Trump Tape is released. The Washington Post obtained a video of Donald Trump bragging about his sexual exploits and making lewd comments about women in 2005. In the video, Trump can be heard saying, “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.” He continues. “You can do anything...Grab them by the p—y.”
After the tape was released, prominent Republicans condemn Trump’s comments and some even pull their support of the Republican nominee. Others call for him to renounce his candidacy. Trump then issues a late-night video apology on social media.
October 9: More audio files of Trump are released. Trump can be heard discussing sex and rating women’s bodies while on The Howard Stern Show. The most notable clip is from a 2004 interview in which Stern asks if he can call Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, a “piece of ass,” to which Trump responds “yeah.”
October 10: An additional 2,000 emails are released by WikiLeaks from the hacked account of John Podesta. In an email exchange, Doug Band, a former Clinton Foundation executive and co-founder of the investment group Teneo, calls Chelsea Clinton a “spoiled brat” with a “lack of focus in her life.”
The emails also reveal that the Clinton campaign debated opposing the Keystone XL pipeline all the way back in the spring of 2015, and discussed how to respond—or rather explain away—the accusations made in the 2015 novel Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich by Peter Schweizer. In the book, Schweizer “follows the Clinton money trail,” and investigates the money given to the Clinton foundation by foreign donors, Bill and Hillary’s paid speeches, and the fortune they have amassed since leaving the White House in 2001.
October 11: WikiLeaks dumps its third batch of emails. The emails show that the Clinton campaign was receiving tips from CNBC anchor John Harwood and publicize her overall “cozy” relationship with the media.
The leaked emails also expose the Clinton campaign’s opinion of the Catholic Church. In an email exchange between John Halpin, a senior fellow at the progressive think tank Center for American Progress, and Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri, Haplin mocked Rupert Murdoch for raising his children Catholic. He also commented on the Church’s “severely backwards” views on gender relations.
October 12: The biggest revelation thus far is revealed in the the fourth and fifth batches of emails published by WikiLeaks - possible collusion between the Department of Justice and Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon over a 2015 Freedom of Information Act lawsuit regarding her emails. The emails also unveil an attempt to spark a “Catholic Spring, in which Catholics themselves demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship.”
The first women come forward, accusing Trump of sexual assault. Jessica Leeds claims Trump groped her on a flight, telling The New York Times that he lifted the armrest between them and grabbed her breast as he tried to reach up her skirt. “He was like an octopus,” she said. “His hands were everywhere.”
Rachel Crooks, who worked in Trump Tower, says Trump kissed her without permission in 2005. Crooks encountered Trump outside and elevator and introduced herself. The two shook hands, but Trump supposedly wouldn't let go, and instead began kissing Crooks’ cheeks. She said he then “kissed me directly on the mouth.”
Four different women who competed in the 1997 Miss Teen USA contestants tell BuzzFeed that Trump walked into the dressing room while contestants were changing—some of whom were only 15 years old.
Mindy McGillivray tells the Palm Beach Post Trump groped her at Mar-a-Lago in 2003.
Natasha Stoynoff, a writer for People magazine, publishes her own story saying Trump tried forcing himself on her while she was visiting Mar-a-Lago to interview him and his wife, Melania, in 2005. Stoynoff says Trump pushed her up against a wall, stuck his tongue into her mouth, and told her “You know we’re going to have an affair, don’t you?”
October 13: Another set of emails is released, including the speech that never was. Within the collection was an email with the subject heading “Script.” The email was sent by Josh Schwerin, the Clinton campaign’s lead speechwriter, back in August of 2015. It contained a script for a video address that Clinton never produced. The script was meant to explain why she used her private email server.
It is also revealed that Clinton used to support fracking, calling anti-fracking activism a “Russian plot.” The emails show the Clinton campaign disparaging Bernie supporters and Latinos, as well. Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders were called “self-righteous” whiners, and Hispanic party leaders such as Bill Richardson were labeled “needy Latinos.”
October 14: WikiLeaks publishes its seventh set of emails. The emails, sent from Podesta's private, unsecured server, detail the exact travel time and location of then-President Elect Obama in 2009, and the names and phone numbers of the pilots escorting Obama. Other emails reveal the Obama administration’s trepidation about a subpoena issued by the House Select Committee on Benghazi requesting relevant emails sent from Clinton’s private server. Podesta emailed Clinton’s lawyer Cheryl Mills asking whether they should withhold President Obama's emails from the committee.
Other revelations from the leaked emails: Clinton Foundation donors expected “benefits in return for gifts”; Qatar gave the Clinton Foundation $1 million for Bill Clinton’s birthday in 2012; and Clinton said environmentalists need to “get a life.”
More women come forward. Kristin Anderson tells the Washington Post Trump touched her genitals in the early 1990; “He did touch my vagina through my underwear, absolutely."
Summer Zervos, a former contestant on The Apprentice, holds a press conference with attorney Gloria Allred saying Trump “thrusted” his “genitals” on her.
The Guardian republishes an article from July 2016 in which Jill Harth discusses how Trump tried to rape her. “He pushed me up against the wall, and had his hands all over me and tried to get up my dress again,” said Harth. "I had to physically say: ‘What are you doing? Stop it’…And how could he be doing this when I’m there for business?”
October 15: The latest batch of emails is released exposing more about Clinton’s Wall Street speeches. Among them are transcripts of three paid speeches Clinton gave to Goldman Sachs. In the speeches Clinton said she wished the U.S. could intervene in Syria as covertly as possible. “We used to be much better at this than we are now," she said. “Now, you know, everybody can't help themselves. They have to go out and tell their friendly reporters and somebody else: Look what we're doing and I want credit for it, and all the rest of it.” In another speech, Clinton says she would “love it if we could continue to build a more positive relationship with Russia.” She almost mentioned that it would be good for our country if more “successful business people” ran for public office.
Another woman alleges Trump sexually assaulted her. Cathy Heller tells ABC News that Trump accosted her at a Mother's Day Event at Mar-A-Lago in the late 1990s. According to Heller, Trump grabbed her and started to kiss her on the lips. When she tried to pull away, he grabbed her again and continued.
Note: Election day isn’t until November 8, so expect to see many more revelations over the course of the next three weeks.