A pumped-up Donald Trump strutted in front of a crowd of die-hard supporters in Pennsylvania on Monday night, throwing aside a spiraling disaster of the groping tape, Republican defections and his plummeting poll ratings.
The Republican presidential nominee made no reference at a rally in the old coalmining town of Wilkes-Barre to the catastrophic 72 hours his campaign has endured since an 11-year old recording was released in which he bragged about using his celebrity status to sexually assault women.
Nor did he refer to the many members of his party who abandoned him publicly over the weekend in protest at his offensive comments, or to the dramatic headway made by his Democratic rival in the polls.
Instead, he fired up his loyal army of followers by repeating the threat he made directly to Hillary Clinton’s face at the second presidential debate on Sunday night that once ensconced in the White House he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate her alleged crimes.
When the baying crowd at Mohegan Sun Arena shouted “Lock her up!”, Trump shot back at them: “Lock her up is right!”
But in his effervescent post-debate mood he merely succeeded in generating further controversy. He praised the open-information group that acted as conduit for one of the biggest leaks of US government in history: “WikiLeaks, I love WikiLeaks,” he said.