The press is balking at the idea of revisiting Bill Clinton's sex scandals, and many in media are warning presumed GOP nominee Donald Trump and his supporters against even mentioning the issue.
Trump escalated things in a Fox News interview this week when he used the word "rape" in reference to a charge brought against the former president by a woman named Juanita Broaddrick.
Broaddrick maintains she was sexually assaulted by Clinton in 1978.
"In one case, it's about exposure," cable news host Sean Hannity said of the many charges brought against Clinton. "In another case, it's about groping and fondling and touching against a woman's will."
"And rape," Trump interjected.
Members of the press recoiled instantly, and some said the casino tycoon would do well to back off the issue.
"Now, there was, in fact, an accusation of rape against Bill Clinton. It is not false that there is an accusation. Obviously, Trump is not so careful as to say alleged rape or accusations of rape. He just goes right there and says, you know, basically is insinuating that Bill Clinton is a rapist," Bloomberg News' John Heilemann responded this week.
"Bill Clinton is not running for president in 2016. Hillary Clinton is," he added, explaining newsrooms likely won't revisit the 42nd president's past in the same way that the New York Times has revisited Trump's. "[A]lthough Trump will try to tie Hillary Clinton to Bill Clinton's past indiscretion, I just do not think that this is an issue that is going to help him with women or going to help him with very many voters that aren't already in his column."
Political commentator Nicole Wallace agreed with Heilemann.
"I think that Trump needs to be cautious in this area," she said, adding that the GOP candidate should probably narrow his attack to just going after the Democratic front-runner for how she treated former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
CBS "This Morning" reporter Julianna Goldman echoed these sentiments Friday morning, but admitted Bill Clinton's status as a former president makes it tricky.
"Spouses are typically considered off limits, but a former president is not a typical spouse," she said. "He has been a constant presence on the campaign trail, making him a natural target for Trump, but one that carries great risk."
First, she explained, it's just risky for the billionaire businessman to, "[dredge] up this nearly 40-year-old unproven accusation." Further, Goldman added, Clinton is more popular with women than Trump, according to polls.
Others in media skipped over suggesting the real estate mogul should back off the scandals, and instead dismissed the resurfaced allegations altogether.
CNN's Brooke Baldwin, for example, worked all week to shut down guests who tried to tie Hillary Clinton to the charges brought against her husband.
Over at NBC News, Andrea Mitchell characterized Broaddrick's story – that then-Arkansas Attorney General Bill Clinton raped her in a hotel room in 1978 – as "discredited and long-denied."
ABC News's Tom Llamas took Mitchell's lead and reported this week that the rape charge is "decades-old and discredited."
However, the former NBC investigative reporter who first interviewed the alleged victim in the late 1990s sees things a bit differently.
"[N]othing has come up since that story was reported that in any way undercuts what Juanita Broaddrick said," Lisa Myers said in a 2014 C-SPAN interview.
CBS News took a slightly different approach this week, as Nancy Cordes suggested Trump should avoid talking about rape considering he reportedly has some skeletons of his own.
"The topic of rape is murky territory for Trump, who was also once accused of rape by his ex-wife Ivana. A charge she later recanted. And there is no dispute ... that both he and Bill Clinton had multiple, consensual extra marital affairs which made for lurid tabloid fodder for years," she said.
In reference to the actual accusations against Clinton, she said simply, "They were referring to a trio of women who say Bill Clinton made unwanted sexual advances in 80s and 90s. Mr. Clinton denies it."
"Two of the cases were plagued by factual discrepancies. Still, the accusations linger and will be a focus of GOP ads against Hillary Clinton," she added.
Clinton has admitted to engaging in extramarital affairs with multiple women, including former White House intern Monica Lewinsky and former model Gennifer Flowers.
In 1993, former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones filed a federal lawsuit against Clinton alleging he lured her into his hotel room in 1991 and exposed himself. The Clintons reached an out-of-court settlement with Jones in 1998, and agreed to pay her $850,000.