Hillary Clinton found Donald Trump’s intrusive, domineering behavior during the second presidential debate to be exceedingly creepy, according to an excerpt from her upcoming memoir about the election.
She describes the moment—which took place two days after that infamous 2004 Access Hollywood tape of Donald Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women leaked to the media—in the book, titled What Happened.
“This is not OK, I thought,” she writes. “It was the second presidential debate and Donald Trump was looming behind me. Two days before, the world heard him brag about groping women. Now we were on a small stage and no matter where I walked, he followed me closely, staring at me, making faces.”
Describing the experience of an alleged sexual predator looming over her as “incredibly uncomfortable,” she continues:
“He was literally breathing down my neck. My skin crawled. It was one of those moments where you wish you could hit pause and ask everyone watching, well, what would you do? Do you stay calm, keep smiling and carry on as if he weren’t repeatedly invading your space? Or do you turn, look him in the eye and say loudly and clearly, ‘back up you creep, get away from me. I know you love to intimidate women but you can’t intimidate me, so back up.’”
Of course we all know which option Clinton chose: “I kept my cool, aided by a lifetime of dealing with difficult men trying to throw me off. I did, however, grip the microphone extra hard.”
Considering that the pussy-grabber won the presidency anyway, she reflected on whether she made the right call in that moment: “I wonder, though, whether I should have chosen option B. It certainly would have been better TV. Maybe I have overlearned the lesson of staying calm, biting my tongue, digging my fingernails into a clenched fist, smiling all the while, determined to present a composed face to the world.”
The book will be out on September 12.