In the soon to be released memoir "What Happened," the former Democratic presidential candidate describes how Donald Trump's behaviour during one of their debates made her skin "crawl".

The debate came two days after an audiotape emerged in which Trump was heard bragging about groping women.
The debate came two days after an audiotape emerged in which Trump was heard bragging about groping women. (Reuters)

Hillary Clinton calls Donald Trump a "creep" in her new memoir and describes how his behaviour during one of their debates made her skin crawl, according to excerpts released on Wednesday.

"We were on a small stage and no matter where I walked, he followed me closely, staring at me, making faces. It was incredibly uncomfortable," Clinton, who made history last year as the first woman presidential nominee of a major US party, wrote in her upcoming book, titled "What Happened."

"He was literally breathing down my neck. My skin crawled," she added, noting that the October 2016 debate at Washington University in St. Louis came just days after the release of a shock audio tape in which Trump was heard bragging about groping women.

"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,'" Clinton steamed.

"'I know you love to intimidate women, but you can't intimidate me.'"

The excerpts were obtained by MSNBC, which broadcast portions of the audio version – in Clinton's own voice – of the highly-anticipated memoir in which the former first lady dissects her doomed presidential campaign.

The book is set for a September 12 release in the United States. On Wednesday, advance sales pushed it to number one on Amazon's list of best sellers.

Clinton has said that after months of reflection on her defeat, she spent much of this year writing a book that aims to pull back the curtain on the strategies – and failures – in one of the most astonishing elections in US history.

In the excerpts, she also describes her feelings of having let down the American people.

"Writing this wasn't easy. Every day that I was a candidate for president, I knew that millions of people were counting on me and I couldn't bear the idea of letting them down. But I did," she wrote.

"I couldn't get the job done. And I'll have to live with that for the rest of my life."

Publisher Simon and Schuster said last month that the former secretary of state's book would be her "most personal memoir yet."

Source: AFP