NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called a video in which Donald Trump is heard making lewd comments about women “indefensible,” but said he is still supporting the Republican nominee.
Christie broke his silence about the video for the first time Tuesday while appearing on WFAN as a guest co-host on “Boomer & Carton.”
“On the video itself, let’s be really clear — it is completely indefensible and I won’t defend and haven’t defended it,” he said. “That kind of talk and conversation, even in private, is just unacceptable.”
Christie said he urged Trump “to be contrite and apologetic because that’s what he needs to be” but said he feels Trump’s apology didn’t go far enough.
“I would have done it much differently. But, you know, I do think he’s sorry and I do think he’s embarrassed by it,” he said. “He should have been much more direct and much more focused on just saying, ‘I’m sorry’ and only ‘I’m sorry.'”
But the governor insisted he’s “still supporting Donald.”
“I’ve known him for a long time and I’m really upset by what I heard, but in the end, this election is about bigger issues than just that and so at this point, I still support him,” he said.
Christie, who endorsed Trump in February, is in charge of Trump’s transition team and has been helping him with debate prep, CBS News reported.
The 2005 video, in which Trump is heard bragging about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women while shooting a segment for “Access Hollywood,” is causing turmoil in the Republican party.
Since the video’s release Friday, 40 Republican senators and congressmen have revoked their support for Trump and nearly 30 have called on him to quit the race.
On Monday, House Speaker Paul Ryan told Republican lawmakers on a conference call that he won’t defend or campaign with Trump.
Trump referred to the call Tuesday morning on Twitter, saying, “Our very weak and ineffective leader, Paul Ryan, had a bad conference call where his members went wild at his disloyalty.”
Ryan did face pushback from some lawmakers who were upset that he was abandoning Trump, The Associated Press reported. The House Speaker continues to endorse Trump.
In another conference call on Monday, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said that the Republican party continues to stand behind its presidential nominee.
Trump has apologized for the crude remarks and has called it “locker room talk.”
During Sunday night’s debate in St. Louis, he said he was “not proud of it” but brought up allegations of sexual assault against former president Bill Clinton.
“If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse,” he said at the debate. “Mine are words and his was action.”
At a rally in Pennsylvania Monday, he reiterated the allegations against the former president.
“Bill Clinton sexually assaulted innocent women and Hillary Clinton attacked those women viciously,” Trump said. “One of them said more viciously than he attacked them.”
But the Republican nominee also hinted that there may be more tapes out there.
“If they want to release more tapes saying inappropriate things, we’ll continue to talk about Bill and Hillary Clinton doing inappropriate things,” he told supporters.
Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton tried to capitalize from the debate while stumping in Michigan on Monday.
“What’s exciting to me is that we’re getting more support, not just from Democrats, but from Independents and Republicans,” she said.
Clinton used the Trump controversy to try and divert attention from more WikiLeaks released hacked emails of her staffers.
“We all heard on that tape, what he thinks of women and how he treats women,” she said.
“Today” show personality Billy Bush, the other voice heard on the 2005 tape, was suspended Sunday by NBC.
Bush is heard laughing at some of Trump’s comments and joining in and later encourages Arianne Zucker, an actress who was there to greet them, to hug Trump.
Bush, who is the nephew of former President George H.W. Bush, issued a statement Friday apologizing for his actions.
“Entertainment Tonight” host Nancy O’Dell, who was identified as one of the women Trump was referring to in the video, addressed the comments Monday night.
“There is no room for objectification of women, or anyone for that matter, not even in the locker room,” she said.