Photo by Gage Skidmore / Flickr
A newly released recording of Donald Trump from 2005 is gathering political ire as the Trump campaign reels from sexually explicit remarks made by the Republican nominee in 2005.
Republicans, some who previously endorsed the nominee, are pulling their support in the aftermath of the leaked recording.
The recording and video were obtained and published by the Washington Post on Oct. 7. It contained a conversation between “Access Hollywood’s” Billy Bush and Donald Trump regarding the crude sexual advances made by Trump when around “beautiful women.” The recording became viral almost immediately after other major news sources published articles concerning the remarks.
Donald Trump apologized for the taped conversation in a Facebook video on Friday. He stated, “I’ve never said I was a perfect person. I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released on this more than a decade old video, are one of them.”
Trump’s wife, Melania, released a statement one day later, detailing her reaction to the ordeal.
“The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me. This does not represent the man that I know. He has the heart and mind of a leader,” she said.
He was defended by Juanita Broaddrick, a former nursing home administrator, who has accused Bill Clinton of raping her repeatedly in the past. She stated in a tweet sent out on Saturday, “How many times must it be said? Actions speak louder than words.”
Trump grasped at this chance for a change of discussion and held a “debate prep” panel. He advertised on his Twitter account that supporters should tune into Facebook Live to view his final debate preparations. Many watched the Facebook stream, expecting to catch a glimpse of Trump’s debate training. Instead, viewers were introduced to a panel comprised of four women who had previously accused the Clintons of various misconduct. Paula Jones, Kathy Shelton, Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey spoke of their support of Trump’s presidency while airing their grievances toward both Hillary and Bill.
Broaddrick discussed the rape allegations and reiterated that Bill’s “actions” are far more damaging than Trump’s words. Kathy Shelton spoke about Hillary’s defense of a man who allegedly raped Shelton during Clinton’s years as a defense attorney. She was appointed to the trial and was able to reduce the defendant’s sentence from rape to unlawful fondling of a minor under the age of 14.
Shelton stated during the panel, “Hillary put me through something you should never put a 12-year-old through.”
Clinton’s campaign released a statement following the panel, saying, “We’re not surprised to see Donald Trump continue his destructive race to the bottom.”
Despite the support from the panel after his sexual remarks were released, Trump was attacked by both Democrats and Republicans for his conversation with Billy Bush.
Since the tape’s Friday release, over 160 republican politicians and representatives have pulled support from the Trump campaign. One of the notable members of this group is Gov. John Kasich (R- OH), who battled Trump for the nomination in the primaries.
“Donald Trump is a man I cannot and should not support. The actions of the last day are disgusting,” he said in a statement released on Saturday.
Another significant republican who withdrew their support was Senator John McCain (R-AZ).
McCain and Trump have had their public disagreements in the past, including the interview where Trump stated that John McCain was not a war hero, despite the senator’s six-year stint as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.
Even in light of previous attacks, McCain threw his support behind Trump in May saying that “it would be foolish” to ignore the American people’s choice. Unfortunately for the Trump campaign, the leaked audio was the final straw for McCain.
Revoking his support for Trump on Saturday, McCain stated, “Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy.”
The second presidential debate was held on Sunday evening, just two days after the “Washington Post” obtained the recording of Trump. Clinton and Trump traded verbal blows while debating whether the tape was as damning as it appeared.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper, one of the moderator’s for the second debate, first acknowledged the recording and stated that his conversation with Bush amounted to a boast that Trump sexually assaulted women.
Trump responded, saying, “I don’t think you understood what was said. This was locker room talk.”
He continued, diverting the topic from the tape by claiming that there are much larger issues to focus on, such as ISIS.
“We can get onto much more important things and much bigger things,” he said.
When the moderators turned their attention towards Clinton, she began by directly attacking Trump’s abilities.
“With prior Republican nominees for president, I disagreed with them — on politics, policies, and principles, but I never questioned their fitness to serve. Donald Trump is different,” she said.
Clinton then stated that Trump has had a long history of denigrating women and basing their worth solely on their appearance.
Following these remarks, Trump had an opportunity to respond once again. He claimed that Clinton was simply speaking out of turn and that her past failures are proof of this.
“It’s just words, folks. It’s just words. And those words I’ve been hearing them for many years,” Trump said.
Once he finished criticizing Clinton’s political career, he turned his assault towards Bill Clinton. Referring to allegations made by Juanita Broaddrick, Trump stated that his transgressions were outweighed by that of Bill Clintons’.
“If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse — mine are words, and his was action. His was far worse — what he’s done to women, there’s never been anyone in the history of politics in this nation who has been so abusive to women,” Trump said.