More than six hours went by after the Washington Post published a bombshell video showing Donald Trump making lewd comments about groping women before the Republican nominee sat in front of a camera to apologize.
In a 90-second video posted on his Facebook page shortly after midnight, Trump said he regretted his remarks, which were caught by a hot mic during a 2005 Access Hollywood interview, and vowed to be a better man.
“Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am,” Trump said. “I said it, I was wrong and I apologize.”
Take a look for yourself:
The video amounted to a major about-face following perhaps the most monumental blow to his campaign to date. And Trump has very little time to make amends with voters, particularly white suburban women, before they hit the polls in 31 days.
Earlier in the evening, one Republican after another lined up to criticize Trump’s comments. Some past supporters, including Utah’s Jason Chaffetz, the House lawmaker leading congressional Republicans’ investigation into Hillary Clinton, withdrew their support.
“I’m out,” Chaffetz said on CNN Friday evening, just before Trump released his video. Citing his 15-year-old daughter, Chaffetz added: “Do you think I can look her in the eye and tell her that I endorse Donald Trump for president when he acts like this in his apology? That was no apology. That was an apology for getting caught.”
Some Republicans even called on Trump to drop out of the race:
Just as he did in a written statement earlier in the day, Trump in his video pivoted to Bill Clinton’s past infidelities as a means of comparison.
“Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims,” Trump said as he ended his taped remarks, promising to discuss the issue more in the days ahead.
Trump’s top Georgia surrogates, including Sen. David Perdue and former Rep. Jack Kingston, were silent as of midnight. We’ll update you with react as we get it.