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2016 U.S. elections


Donald Trump apologizes for lewd comments about women

PUBLISHED Sat, October 08, 2016 - 1:48am EDT

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has apologized after a newly-released video in which he makes lewd comments about women plunged his campaign into crisis and prompted several top Republicans to disavow him.

Trump, speaking in a video released on social media on early Saturday morning, admitted that he had "said and done things" that he regrets. "Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am," he said.

Trump added: "I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize. ... I pledge to be a better man tomorrow and will never, ever let you down."

Recorded in 2005 but released only on Friday after it was obtained by the Washington Post, Trump did not seem to realize that he was still wearing a microphone for a TV show as he waited to get off a bus. He talked about making a move on a married woman and said his status as a celebrity allowed him to grope women.

"I moved on her and I failed. I'll admit it. I did try and fuck her ... I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn't get there, and she was married," the businessman said. "Then all of a sudden I see her, she's now got the big phony tits and everything. She's totally changed her looks."

A short time later, before meeting a woman, Trump says: "I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful - I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait."

Trump adds: "And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything."

The release of the video prompted numerous Republicans - including former presidential nominees John McCain and Mitt Romney - to issue strong condemnations of Trump's comments, and several others decided to revoke their endorsement immediately.

"I am sickened by what I heard today. Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified," said House Speaker Paul Ryan, who added that Trump would no longer attend an event in Wisconsin where they were due to campaign together, though Ryan did not clarify whether he would pull his endorsement.

Several other Republicans did pull their support, including Utah Governor Gary Herbert and Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz. "I'm out," Chaffetz told a local TV station. "I can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for president."

Republican U.S. Senator Mike Lee, who Trump had named as a possible pick for the U.S. Supreme Court, had never fully endorsed the businessman but disavowed him on late Friday, saying "it's time for him to step aside."

A number of Republicans suggested Trump to step aside to allow vice presidential candidate Mike Pence to take his place.

The video came hours after the businessman issued a written apology that also accused former President Bill Clinton of having said "far worse" on the golf course, a remark that caused some Republicans to call Trump insincere. But during Saturday's apology, Trump again deflected to the Clintons.

"Hillary Clinton and her kind have run our country into the ground. I've said some foolish things but there's a big difference between the words and actions of other people," he said. "Bill Clinton has actually abused women, and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims."

Trump referred to accusations from a number of women who have accused Bill Clinton of having sexually abused them, but he has never been prosecuted for the claims and he has denied the accounts. Referring to the allegations, Trump added: "We will discuss this more in the coming days."

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