*More Republican Leaders Dump Him
Donald Trump has offered an extraordinary apology in the early hours of Saturday morning for a lewd video in which he recounted “grabbing (women) by the p—-” and states that “when you’re a star, they let you do it”.
The Republican presidential candidate “pledged to be a better man” in the late night video address.
But he added that former president Bill Clinton, the husband of his Democratic rival, “actually abused women” and that Hillary Clinton bullied her husband’s victims.
The video apology came hours after The Washington Post posted a video from 2005 in which Mr Trump brags about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women who were not his wife.
“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,” Mr Trump said in the statement. He ended by saying: “See you at the debate on Sunday.”
Several leading Republicans rounded on their presidential candidate following the emergence of the video.
Paul Ryan, the House speaker and most senior elected Republican, called Mr Trump’s comments “sickening” and banned him from a Republican campaign event in Wisconsin on Saturday.
Reince Preibus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, said: “No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever.”
“I have never said I was a perfect person nor pretended to be someone I am not. I have 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 do not reflect who I am. I said it I was wrong and I apologise.”
He added that his travels around the United States had changed him,
“I pledge to be a better man tomorrow and will never ever let you down,” he added before rounding on his opponents. “Let’s be honest we are living in the real world this is nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we are facing today.” Rounding on the Clintons, he added. “I have said some foolish things, but there is a big difference between the words and actions of other people. “Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims. We will discuss this more in the coming days, see you at the debate on Sunday.”
More Republican support evaporates for Mr Trump
Jason Chaffetz, the Republican congressman from Utah who led the House of Representatives pursuit of Hillary Clinton, has withdrawn his backing for Mr Trump.
“I am out. There is no way I can vote for Donald Trump,” he said. “That was not an apology, that was an apology for getting caught. I am not going to put my good name and my family behind Donald Trump for president.”
Below is Trumps’ Full Statement;
“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. I said it, I was wrong and I apologize.
I have traveled the country talking about change for America, but my travels have also changed me. I’ve spent time with grieving mothers who’ve lost their children, laid-off workers whose jobs have gone to other countries, and people from all walks of life who just want a better future. I have gotten to know the great people of our country and I’ve been humbled by the faith they’ve placed in me. I pledge to be a better man tomorrow, and will never, ever let you down.
Let’s be honest, we’re living in the real world. This is nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we’re facing today.
We are losing our jobs, we are less safe than we were eight years ago and Washington is totally broken. Hillary Clinton and her kind have run our country into the ground. I’ve said some foolish things, but there’s a big difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women, and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims. We will discuss this more in the coming days. See you at the debate on Sunday.”