NEW YORK (AP) – In a videotaped midnight apology, Donald Trump is declaring “I was wrong and I apologize” after being caught on tape making shockingly vulgar and sexually charged comments.
Yet he is also defiantly dismissing the revelations as “nothing more than a distraction” from a decade ago and signaling he would close his presidential campaign by arguing rival Hillary Clinton has committed greater sins against women.
Trump’s videotaped statement capped a jarring day that threatened to sink the businessman’s White House bid, sending Republicans into a panic just over a month from Election Day and on the cusp of Sunday’s debate.
Outraged GOP lawmakers condemned Trump’s comments. Trump is heard in the 2005 video bragging about women letting him kiss and grab them because he is famous.
Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz has withdrawn his endorsement of Trump. House Speaker Paul Ryan says he is “sickened” and that 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, Gov. Scott Walker and the head of the Republican Party, Reince Priebus.
Priebus is condemning the comments.
Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman have called in Trump to step aside.