Jun 29, 2022
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With one month to go until election day, Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is embroiled in a scandal that has not only his opponents, but many former supporters and GOP leaders calling for him to step aside.

On Friday, the Washington Post published a 2005 video in which Trump is heard speaking to Billy Bush of the television show, Access Hollywood, as Trump prepared for an appearance on the soap opera “Days of Our Lives”.

In a “hot mic” moment, when Trump was not aware that he was being recorded, he described his attempts to seduce a married woman, using degrading and sexist terms. He also made remarks about how his notoriety permitted him to take sexual advantage of women.

In a video released late Friday night, Trump issued a rare and uncharacteristic apology. “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. Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am,” Trump said. “I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.”

Trump called the release of the damaging video a distraction from the real issues, while noting that Hillary Clinton was no better. “Bill Clinton has actually abused women, and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims,” Trump added.

The video has created a storm of criticism, and many from Trump’s own party are highly critical, saying the remarks crossed over a red line. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, who said he is “sickened” by Trump’s comments, said the Republican presidential candidate will no longer appear with him at a campaign event in Wisconsin on Saturday. Trump’s office announced Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, will attend in his stead.

Mike Pence speaks during Donald Trump introduction Governor Mike Pence as running for vice president at Hilton hotel Midtown Manhattan. July 16, 2016. (Photo: lev radin / Shutterstock.com)

Mike Pence (Lev Radin/Shutterstock.com)

Even Pence found it difficult to reconcile Trump’s comments on the video.

“As a husband and a father, I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump in the 11-year-old video released yesterday,” Pence said in a statement to the press. “I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them. I am grateful that he has expressed remorse and apologized to the American people.”

Many Republican politicians have come out and called for Trump to step down and allow Pence to replace him. Senator John Thune, the third-ranking Republican in the Senate, tweeted that Trump should withdraw.

Senator John McCain, who had endorsed Trump despite a number of personal attacks against him and his service record, said on Saturday that he could no longer support the nominee.

While he had at first “thought it important I respect the fact that Donald Trump won a majority of the delegates by the rules our party set,” said McCain, Donald Trump’s “demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy.”

Like a number of his fellow Republican leaders, he said that he would vote for neither Trump or his Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, but write in the name of “some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be president.”

Trump tweeted that he was firmly committed to running for president, despite the negative reaction.