Senior Republicans are racing to disavow GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump for a video showing Trump engaged in a lewd conversation about groping and seducing women. The recording, released on Friday by The Washington Post, has forced Trump to apologize as Republicans warn about the demise of his presidential race.
The embarrassing audio was recorded in 2005 while Trump was on a bus with former “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush. The business mogul can be heard talking about his failed attempt to seduce a “married” woman. “I moved on her and I failed. I’ll admit it. She was married. And I moved on her very heavily.”
He also says, “I’m automatically attracted to beautiful” women. “I just start kissing them,” he says. “I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.” Late Friday, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, said he has cancelled a “unity appearance” with Trump that had been scheduled for Saturday in Wisconsin.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, said that Trump’s remarks “are repugnant and unacceptable in any circumstance” and the nominee “needs to apologize directly to women and girls everywhere.” McConnell made the condemnation despite the fact that he has generally avoided commenting on Trump’s controversial statements in the past.
Representative Jason Chaffetz, a top Republican from Utah, announced that he was retracting his endorsement of Trump. Gary Herbert, the governor of Utah, followed suit, saying he cannot vote for Trump either. US Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, who was one of Trump’s GOP rivals earlier in the presidential race before dropping out, denounced the comments as well.
Senator John McCain also voiced his condemnation for Trump’s comments. “There are no excuses for Donald Trump’s offensive and demeaning comments,” the Arizona senator said in a statement. “No woman should ever be victimized by this kind of inappropriate behavior. He alone bears the burden of his conduct and alone should suffer the consequences.” Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, tweeted that “this is horrific. We cannot allow this man to become president.”