He, um, didn't do that. Instead, starting Tuesday morning, Trump began an extended attack against former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, a woman Hillary Clinton had brought up in the debate to highlight Trump's past comments about her weight. "She gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem," Trump told Fox News by means of explanation.
And he just kept going. And going. By the time most people got up on Thursday morning, Trump had unleashed a series of tweets about Machado and Clinton that, well, fell slightly short of presidential. Here's a sampling:
Wow, Crooked Hillary was duped and used by my worst Miss U. Hillary floated her as an "angel" without checking her past, which is terrible!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2016
Did Crooked Hillary help disgusting (check out sex tape and past) Alicia M become a U.S. citizen so she could use her in the debate?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2016
Urging people to "check out sex tape" — sidebar: It's not a sex tape but a racy episode on a reality TV show — isn't exactly what most people think of when they are choosing their next president. Also, double sidebar: Buzzfeed reported Friday that Trump had a bit part in a soft-core porn video produced by Playboy.
The week ended — or, more accurately, collapsed — for Trump on Saturday night when the New York Times posted a blockbuster story detailing how Trump had claimed losses of $916 million on his 1995 tax return, which would have allowed him not to pay any federal income taxes for up to 18 years.
Even as that story was breaking, Trump was going off script — way, way off script — at a rally in Manheim, Pa. This paragraph from The Post's Jenna Johnson about Trump's speech is, frankly, stunning:
It took Trump nearly 25 minutes to read the brief statement because he kept going off on one angry tangent after another — ignoring his teleprompters and accusing Clinton of not being “loyal” to her husband, imitating her buckling at a memorial service last month, suggesting that she is “crazy” and saying she should be in prison. He urged his mostly white crowd of supporters to go to polling places in "certain areas" on Election Day to "watch" the voters there. He also repeatedly complained about having a "bum mic" at the first presidential debate and wondered if he should have done another season of “The Apprentice.”
Trump has, during the course of this campaign, repeatedly demonstrated an inability to cut his losses. Instead, he quadruples down on those losses. (Khizr Khan, anyone?) Trump did that again — and again — over the past six days. And the result was one of the worst weeks of not only his campaign but of any presidential candidate I can remember.
Donald Trump, for outdoing even your own high bar for self-inflicted wounds, you had the Worst Week in Washington. Congrats, or something.
Each week, I award the Worst Week in Washington to an inhabitant of Planet Beltway who stands out for all the wrong reasons. Email me with candidates!