An video released yesterday that contained remarks by Donald Trump that he kisses women before they give permission and that his fame allows him to "grab them by the p*ssy" sent the Republican presidential candidate into damage-control mode.
People magazine reports that Trump's comments with a TV host — which he had previously chalked up to little more than locker-room banter — led Trump to issue a video apology... of sorts.
In the video viewed by 10 million people overnight, Trump said, "I 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 the more than decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am."
In the most direct apology he has issued on any topic during his controversial campaign, Trump went on to say, “I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize."
Still, he was anything but cowed by the media frenzy — which includes a damaging New York Daily News cover and countless Twitter weigh-ins — turning his apology into an attack on his opponent, Hillary Clinton, whom he will face in a second debate Sunday night.
“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. I pledge to be a better man tomorrow, and will never, ever let you down. See you at the debate on Sunday."
This is horrific. We cannot allow this man to become president. https://t.co/RwhW7yeFI2— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 7, 2016
Hillary Clinton's immediate response to what social media has named the #TrumpTapes was to call Trump's remarks "horrific" and to urge Americans not to "allow this man to become president."
Other politicians, commentators, and celebrities are also reacting on social media:
As the grandfather of two precious girls, I find that no apology can excuse away Donald Trump's reprehensible comments degrading women.— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) October 7, 2016
This kind of behavior is disgusting. It makes me sick to my stomach. https://t.co/mOUKgr6axl— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) October 7, 2016
There are no excuses for Donald Trump’s offensive behavior. Cindy & I will not vote for him. My full stmt: https://t.co/MOw0rx4LSI— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) October 8, 2016
I ask the question again this morning: "What else does GOP leadership need to see from Donald Trump to disavow him, ask him to resign? What? https://t.co/nllYAtsQnO— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) October 8, 2016
I will not vote for Donald Trump. Read my statement here: pic.twitter.com/F8zajgDZpg— Kelly Ayotte (@KellyAyotte) October 8, 2016
America deserves far better than @realDonaldTrump— Jeff Flake (@JeffFlake) October 7, 2016
As proud as I am to label myself a Republican, there is one label that I hold above all else - American. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/biRvY8S3aZ— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) October 8, 2016
If you have any more excuses about him after watching this, God have mercy on your soul. https://t.co/Xi8Xba3ijw— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) October 8, 2016
LADIES👑WE R NOT DISPOSABLE BLOW UP DOLLS,4RICH MENS PLEASURE.I HAD SCARY EXPERIENCE W/RICH IMPORTANT FILM PROD.& I WAS CHER‼️— Cher (@cher) October 7, 2016
I WANTED JOB😥
All those defending Trump to me: saying "pussy" ain't the issue. Saying he just "grabs" it is the problem. Y'all are defending wrong word.— dax shepard (@daxshepard1) October 8, 2016
He is bragging about being a sex criminal. He is a star & he can do what he wants 2 any woman he wants. He delights in being a sex criminal— Ellen Barkin (@EllenBarkin) October 8, 2016
Ask a rape survivor if "grabbing them by the pussy" is just some locker room talk.— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) October 8, 2016
Any woman, and anyone who was born of a woman....how can you vote for this garbage monster? https://t.co/Ngh3uqwwGE— Laura Benanti (@LauraBenanti) October 8, 2016
I don't believe we are responsible for our parents actions but HOW can his children stand by & continue to justify, defend and support him?— Emmy Rossum (@emmyrossum) October 8, 2016
I am disgusted...not surprised...but disgusted. https://t.co/bqW560zh0Q— Zendaya (@Zendaya) October 7, 2016
Whether you feel it consciously or not, hearing these words out of a candidate's mouth is a threat. Take care of yourselves this weekend.— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) October 8, 2016
I mean, no candidate is perfect but I'm gonna go for the one who won't "Use a tic tac" & then "Grab me by the pussy."— jenny slate (@jennyslate) October 7, 2016