Caught on tape making shockingly crude comments about a married woman he tried to seduce, Donald Trump declared in a midnight video, “I was wrong and I apologize.” Yet even as he did so, he claimed the astonishing recording was “nothing more than a distraction” and argued his words were not nearly as egregious as former President Bill Clinton’s marital affairs.
“I’ve said some foolish things,” the Republican presidential nominee said in a taped apology posted on his Facebook page early Saturday morning. “But there’s a big difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women.”
Turning to his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, Trump accused her of having “bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated” her husband’s “victims.”
Trump’s 90-second statement capped a jarring day that threatened to sink his presidential campaign and sent Republicans into a panic with early voting well underway in several states and a little more than a month until Election Day.
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.
Posted by Donald J. Trump on piektdiena, 2016. gada 7. oktobris
On Friday afternoon, The Washington Post and NBC News released a 2005 video on which Trump describes trying to have sex with a married woman. He also brags about women letting him kiss and grab them because he is famous.
“When you’re a star they let you do it,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”
He adds seconds later, “Grab them by the p—-. You can do anything.”
Trump, in his apology, said “I’ve said and done things I regret…Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am.”
But major damage was already done, with several fellow Republicans withdrawing their endorsements of Trump.
“I can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for president,” Republican congressman Jason Chaffetz of Utah told Fox.
“It is some of the most abhorrent and offensive comments that you can possibly imagine.”
Other Republicans reportedly including congresswoman Barbara Comstock, congressman Mike Coffman and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, who ran for president in 2012, demanded Trump exit the race.
“I respectfully ask you, with all due respect, to step aside,” urged Utah Senator Mike Lee
Illinois Senator Mark Kirk echoed the sentiment.
“@realDonaldTrump should drop out. @GOP should engage rules for emergency replacement,” he said on Twitter.
Trump finds himself mired in fresh scandal at a crucial point in the campaign with just one month to go until Election Day on November 8 and Clinton expanding her lead in national and battleground state polling.
Clinton is seeking to become the nation’s first female commander in chief, and the former secretary of state is almost certain to call out Trump over the troubling video footage in their prime-time Sunday showdown.
Trump’s coarse language, shocking even by the standards of this year’s campaign, comes at a make-or-break moment for Trump, as he trails his Democratic rival in national polls and women, furious over his demeaning comments, are seen overwhelmingly backing Clinton.
The three-minute video captures Trump reacting to an actress he was about to meet as he arrived on the set of daytime soap opera “Days of Our Lives,” for the taping of a segment in which he was to have a cameo appearance, the Post said.
“I’ve gotta use some Tic Tacs (breath mints), just in case I start kissing her,” Trump says to Billy Bush, then host of the “Access Hollywood” show about celebrities.
“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful. I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet,” he says. “I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything.”
Trump also is heard bragging about trying to have sex with a married woman.
“I moved on her and I failed. I’ll admit it,” the billionaire Trump tells Bush, using an expletive for how he tried to have sex with her.
“I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married,” Trump says.
The tape was recorded months after Trump married his third wife, Melania, according to the Post.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, the nation’s top elected Republican, led a chorus of party criticism of their flagbearer.
“I am sickened by what I heard today. Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified,” Ryan said, adding that Trump was disinvited from a political event that they were both supposed to attend in Wisconsin Saturday.
Trump’s campaign then said his running mate Mike Pence would be attending the event instead, while Trump would prepare for his debate.
Despite the rare apology, Trump defiantly pivoted from his own crisis to attack former president Bill Clinton, saying Hillary’s husband “abused” women.
“Bill Clinton has actually abused women, and Hillary has bullied, attacked, and shamed his victims.
“We’ll discuss this in the coming days,” Trump said. “See you at the debate on Sunday.”
Clinton strongly condemned Trump’s comments.
“This is horrific. We cannot allow this man to become president,” she posted on Twitter.