Hours after the release of a video of Donald Trump making lewd remarks about women, Republicans nationwide condemned the remarks and tried to distance themselves from the GOP presidential nominee – even as they are seeking that he walks away from his candidacy.
On Friday night, a 2005 tape was posted by the Washington Post, in which Trump told Billy Bush, then of “Access Hollywood,” that you can “grab [women] by the p****” and “you can make them do anything.” Bush laughs and then asks soap opera star Arianna Zucker to hug Trump.
BBC reported that since the tape emerged, at least 10 Republican senators have either said they will not be voting for the Republican candidate in the general election in 30 days’ time, or have called for him to stand aside.
Mr Trump’s election rival, Hillary Clinton, tweeted that what he said was “horrific.”
His running mate Mike Pence said he was “offended” by Mr Trump’s video, but grateful he had expressed remorse and apologised to the American people.
“We pray for his family” he said in a statement.
However, Trump issued a late-night apology in a Facebook video, saying he would still be at the debate on Sunday.
Read Trump’s entire apology below:
Here is my statement.
I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me, know these words don’t reflect who I am.
I said it, it was wrong, and I apologize.
I’ve travelled the country talking about change for America. But my travels have also changed me. I’ve spent time with grieving mothers who’ve lost their children, laid off workers whose jobs have gone to other countries, and people from all walks of life who just want a better future. I have gotten to know the great people of our country, and I’ve been humbled by the faith they’ve placed in me. I pledge to be a better man tomorrow, and will never, ever let you down.
Let’s be honest. We’re living in the real world. This is nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we are facing today. We are losing our jobs, we are less safe than we were 8 years ago and Washington is broken.
Hillary Clinton, and her kind, have run our country into the ground.
I’ve said some foolish things, but there is a big difference between words and actions. Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims. We will discuss this more in the coming days.
See you at the debate on Sunday.
That apology may not be enough for Utah Sen. Mike Lee, who listened to the video and made his own Facebook video in response — calling on Trump to walk away from his candidacy.
“I respectfully ask you with all due respect, to step aside. Step down,” Lee said in his video. Mentioning the women in his own family, Lee said that if anyone had spoken to them the way Trump has spoken to women, “I wouldn’t hire that person, wouldn’t want to be associated with that person,” and he added, “I certainly don’t think I would feel comfortable hiring that person to be the leader of the free world.”
In respond to calls for him to step aside, Trump on Saturday said there is “zero chance I’ll quit.”
The billionaire told the Washington Post later on Saturday that “I’d never withdraw. I’ve never withdrawn in my life.”