Donald Trump issued an apology statement early Saturday morning after video published by the Washington Post showed the Republican presidential nominee having a vulgar discussion about a number of 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 released today, on this more than a decade old video, are one of them,” he said in a video released by his campaign. “I was wrong and I apologize,” he added.
Trump also attempted to pivot the criticism to former President Bill Clinton. “I’ve said some foolish things but there is a big difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women,” he asserted.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Trump’s vice presidential nominee, released a statement Saturday afternoon calling Trump’s lewd comments indefensible. He also said he was looking forward to Sunday night’s debate between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“As a husband and father, I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump in the 11-year-old video released yesterday. I do not condone his remarks and I cannot defend them. I am grateful that he has expressed remorse and has apologized to the American people. We pray for his family and look forward to the opportunity he has to show what is in his heart when he goes before the nation tomorrow night,” Pence said.
On Friday afternoon, the Post published the 2005 video clip in which Trump told a tale about trying to “f***” a married woman. He can also be heard expressing interest in kissing another woman and saying that when you’re a star, you can do anything with women, including grabbing them “by the p****.”
According to the Post, the video shows Trump going to the set of the soap opera “Days of Our Lives” with Billy Bush of “Access Hollywood,” and the men’s conversation was captured talking on a “hot microphone.” The clip begins with Trump and Bush on a bus emblazoned with the “Access Hollywood” logo as it rolls onto a studio lot. The Post said the men were on the “Days of Our Lives” set to film a segment about Trump making a cameo on the soap opera. The clip begins with the pair discussing an unnamed woman Bush described as “beautiful.”
“I moved on her actually, you know. She was down in Palm Beach. I moved on her and I failed. I’ll admit it. I did try and f*** her. She was married,” Trump said. “I moved on her very heavily,” he added.
Trump went on to describe his courtship of the woman.
“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 moved on her like a b****, but I couldn’t get there, and she was married,” Trump said.
Trump said he ran into the woman some time after his attempt to woo her and found that she looked quite different and had gotten “big phony tits.”
The Washington Post reported that the video was filmed “several months” after Trump married his third wife, Melania.
After Trump described his second meeting with the unnamed woman, Bush interjected to exclaim that he saw a woman who was “hot as s***” and wearing “purple.”
“Whoa!” Trump shouted.
“Yes! The Donald has scored!” Bush yelled.
Before getting off the bus, Trump prepared to meet the woman.
“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. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything, grab them by the p****,” Trump said.
Bush goes on to compliment the woman’s “good legs.” The pair then disembarked and were greeted by actress Arianne Zucker, who wore purple and was there to escort them onto the set.
“How about a little hug for The Donald? He just got off the bus,” Bush said to Zucker.
Zucker gave Trump a hug and he leaned in to kiss her on the cheek.
“Melania said this was OK,” Trump said.
Zucker did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Yahoo News.
Shortly after the Post’s article about the clip was published, Trump released a initial statement in which he described the discussion with Bush as “locker-room banter.”
“This was locker-room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended,” Trump said.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus released a statement of his own condemning Trump’s remarks.
“No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever,” Priebus said.
Priebus has been a staunch ally of Trump since the end of the Republican primaries and has been involved in prep sessions with Trump for the second presidential debate on Sunday. The RNC has worked closely with the Trump campaign, with committee staff running much of the voter outreach operation.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, who was set to appear Saturday with Trump at a Wisconsin festival, released a statement saying that he was repulsed by Trump’s comments and that Trump would no longer be attending the event.
“I am sickened by what I heard today. Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified. I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests,” Ryan said.
Other Republican leaders also piled on, some even withdrawing their endorsements or calling on Trump to exit the race.
Billy Bush also released a statement, saying he was “very sorry” about the comments he made on the video.
“Obviously, I’m embarrassed and ashamed. It’s no excuse, but this happened 11 years ago — I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry,” Bush said.
Bush’s Twitter page was taken down on Friday afternoon. Bush left “Access Hollywood” earlier this year to join NBC’s “Today” show. NBC did not respond to a request for comment from Yahoo News.
Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, and her campaign have attempted to make his comments about women a major issue in the election. In September, the Clinton campaign released an ad focusing on Trump’s history of making insulting comments about women based on their appearance. The Clinton campaign took to Twitter shortly after the article about the video was published and called it “horrific.”
This is horrific. We cannot allow this man to become president. https://t.co/RwhW7yeFI2
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 7, 2016