UPDATED 10/08/16 10:23 a.m.
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/CBS News/AP) — Within hours of the release of aabout women, Republicans nationwide condemned the remarks and tried to distance themselves from the GOP presidential nominee.
Trump issued a statement on video late Friday night, apologizing and saying he was wrong in his words in a graphic recorded conversation from 2005 where he talks about grabbing, kissing, and trying to have sex with women.
“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 release today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize,” Trump said in the video statement.
Trump went on to say he has gained a new perspective about running for president.
“I’ve traveled 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,” Trump said. “I have gotten to know the great people of our country, and I have been humbled by the faith they placed in me. I pledge to be a better man tomorrow and will never, ever let you down.”
Trump also called the controversy over the comments dating back 11 years a “distraction” – and attacked former President Bill Clinton and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as having acted worse than he did in his remarks.
“Let’s be honest – we’re living in the real world. This is nothing more than a distraction from the real issues we are facing today. We are losing our jobs, we’re less safe than we were eight years ago, and Washington is totally broken. 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.”
He said the issue would be discussed more in the coming days, and concluded by saying, “See you at the debate on Sunday.”
Earlier, Trump issued a shorter statement that called the remarks “locker room banter” dating back many years and also mentioning former President Clinton by name.
“This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago,” Trump said in a statement released Friday afternoon, shortly after the Washington Post published video of the conversation. “Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course – not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”
That apology may not be enough — it wasn’t 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.”
Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has been critical of Trump in spite of his support for him, denounced the GOP nominee’s comments and said he needed to apologize.
“These comments are repugnant, and unacceptable in any circumstance,” McConnell said in a late-night statement Friday. “As the father of three daughters, I strongly believe that Trump needs to apologize directly to women and girls everywhere, and take full responsibility for the utter lack of respect for women shown in his comments on that tape.”
The video, obtained by the Washington Post, showed Trump talking with Billy Bush, then of “Access Hollywood,” on a bus with the name of the entertainment television program scrawled across its side. The bus was rolling into a studio lot, where Trump was set to film cameos on the set of the “Days of Our Lives” soap opera program, CBS News reported.
The two were caught on a hot microphone discussing in lewd terms how Trump had attempted to “move on” an actress, who later made an appearance in the video.
“I moved on her and I failed. I’ll admit it,” Trump said on the bus.
“Whoa,” said another voice, presumably belonging to Bush, now the co-host of NBC News’ “Today Show.”
“And I moved on her very heavily,” Trump continues. “In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.’”
“I did try and f*** her. She was married,” he adds.
Then Trump says: “I moved on her like a b****, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married…Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony t*** and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”
As the bus rolled into the studio lot, Bush and Trump appear to see Arianne Zucker in a purple dress.
“Your girl’s hot as s***, in the purple,” Bush says of Zucker.
Trump can be heard exclaiming, “Whoa! Whoa!”
Then the businessman says this: “I’ve gotta 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 says.
“And when you’re a star they let you do it,” he says. “You can do anything.”
“Grab them by the p****,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”
When the two exit the bus, Zucker comes face-to-face with them, giving them both pecks on the cheek.
“We’re ready, let’s go,” Trump tells Zucker. “Make me a soap star.”
“How about a little hug for the Donald?” Bush interjects. “He just got off the bus.”
“Would you like a little hug, darling?” Zucker says.
“Absolutely,” Trump says. When they hug, Trump adds: “Melania said this was okay.”
Trump had recently gotten married to his third wife Melania at the time.
As CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported, Hillary Clinton’s campaign also tweeted about the remarks, saying Trump could not be allowed to become president.
Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine tweeted that the remarks made him “sick to his stomach.”
Kaine also said Republican officials who support Donald Trump ought to be asked if they still do.
He told Democratic volunteers in Phoenix that the numerous controversies that sprang up Friday should require GOP leaders to say whether they still believe Trump is qualified to be president.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus issued in a statement to Politico that said “no woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever.”
Former Florida Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush also condemned Trump’s remarks.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he was “sickened” by Trump’s lewd comments and called on him to show respect for women.
In a statement late Friday, Ryan said Trump will no longer be attending an annual fall festival in Wisconsin. The all-GOP event in Ryan’s home state had been planned with Trump, Ryan, Preibus, and Gov. Scott Walker.
Trump’s running mate Mike Pence will campaign in Wisconsin in his place Saturday.
Ryan, who has had a rocky relationship with Trump, said women are to be championed and revered. He added that he hopes Trump will treat the fallout with the seriousness it deserves.
U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) went so far as to suggest Trump should withdraw from the presidential race.
Politico reported that Kirk urged the Republican Party to “engage rules for (Trump’s) emergency replacement.”
U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colorado) also called for Trump to “step aside.
Coffman said his party’s presidential nominee should leave the race “for the good of the country, and to give the Republicans a chance of defeating Hillary Clinton.”
He added, “Mr. Trump should put the country first and do the right thing.”
Coffman had previously refused to endorse Trump.
In Utah, Gov. Gary Herbert withdrew his support for Donald Trump, while Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) withdrew his endorsement.
The Republican governor tweeted Friday night that that Trump’s statements “are beyond offense and despicable.”
Herbert said, “While I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton, I will not vote for Trump.”
Herbert was an early Trump critic, but announced he would vote for him in August. He is among the first Republican officials in office to formally withdraw support for the Republican presidential nominee following the release of a tape that captured Trump making lewd comments about women.
Chaffetz, who is chairman of the House oversight committee, told a Utah television station he “can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for president.”
And in a statement Friday, Billy Bush says he’s “embarrassed and ashamed” by the 2005 conversation he had with Trump.
Billy Bush — a cousin of Jeb Bush and former President George W. Bush and the nephew of former President George H.W. Bush — said he was younger and less mature when the incident occurred, adding that he “acted foolishly in playing along.” He said he is sorry.
Billy Bush recently joined NBC News’ “Today.” His statement was released by the network.
Hillary Clinton has no public events scheduled while she prepares for Sunday’s debate, but her emails will likely come up after the State Department on Friday released about 270 additional pages.
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