The latest Trump revelation, coming last Friday (Oct. 7), confirms that the Republican nominee is not only a loutish, repulsive man, but has been – by his own chirpy admission – a sexual predator.
Coming from an 11-year-old conversation between Trump and Access Hollywood host Billy Bush where the reality star is preparing to do a cameo for the soap opera, Days of Our Lives, Trump brags about his prowess with women. If you watch the video all the way to the end, you can clearly see that Trump was well aware of the microphone he’s wearing.
Trump: I moved on her, actually. You know, she was down on Palm Beach. I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it. … I did try and fuck her. She was married.
Unknown: That’s huge news.
Trump: No, no, Nancy. No, this was [unintelligible] — and I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, “I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.”
I moved on her like a bitch. But I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look. ….
Trump: Yeah, that’s her, [Days actress Arianne Zucker]. With the gold. I better use some Tic-Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
Bush: Whatever you want.
Trump: Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.
Trying to play down his words, Trump released this statement Friday afternoon:
“This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”
Except… Bill Clinton is not running for President, and comparing your actions to someone’s conversation out on a golf course, Donald, is not taking complete personal responsibility for your own actions.
Reaction to the Trump video – first met by a looooong uncomfortable silence – came from House Speaker Paul Ryan:
“I am sickened by what I heard today. Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified. I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell:
“As the father of three daughters, I strongly believe that Trump needs to apologize directly to women and girls everywhere, and take full responsibility for the utter lack of respect for women shown in his comments on that tape.”
How can Ryan and McConnell look their wives and daughters in the eyes and explain their support for a man who is deeply morally challenged.
The day after Trump’s latest uproar; the day after Ryan dis-invited Trump to a rally in Wisconsin; this is how the House Speaker characterized his feelings, (with a few annotations):
“Let me just start off by saying, there is a bit of an elephant in the room…”
[Elephant!? This is the last 30 seconds on board the Titanic, Mr. Speaker, and you’re standing next to Captain Smith!]
“…it is a troubling situation. I’m serious, it is…”
[Yes, you’re so serious that every time Trump comes out with another outrageous statement against, oh say… a Gold Star family, or a Federal Judge’s Mexican heritage, you disavow his remarks yet continue to support him.]
“I put out a statement about this last night. I meant what I said, and it’s still how I feel….”
[You’re still “sickened” by Trump’s comments, but remain committed in your support of him? Explain that to your kids. Here’s what you said when you were running with Mitt Romney in 2012: “We will not duck the tough issues, we will lead.” Trump is not only the “tough issue” you keep ducking, but you are shamefully absent any political leadership.]
“…But that is not what we are here to talk about today. … We talk about our solutions. We talk about our conservative principles.”
[Mr. Speaker, the Republican campaign stopped talking about solutions and conservative principles the day you nominated Donald Trump. And now you lack the political fortitude that your hero, Ronald Reagan, spoke of: “We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right.”]
Other Republicans feel differently.
Utah Governor Gary Herbert:
“Donald Trump’s statements are beyond offensive & despicable. While I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton, I will not vote for Trump.”
Utah Representative Jason Chaffetz on CNN:
“I’m out. I think we should all stand up and say we should not tolerate this. I can’t do that with my 15-year-old daughter, so why should I do it with the rest of Utah.”
Virginia, swing state, Representative Barbara Comstock and Colorado, another swing state, Representative Mike Coffman called on Trump to step down and allow Vice-Presidential candidate Mike Pence to lead the ticket.
And the list grows: Arizona’s John McCain, Idaho’s Senator Mike Crapo, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte, Maine Senator Susan Collins, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, Alabama Rep. Martha Roby, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, Colorado Senator Cory Gardner – all renounce Trump.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wrote, “Enough! Donald Trump should not be President.”
On Friday afternoon, people inside the Trump campaign pushed for the candidate to make a public apology. Late Friday he responded:
“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.”
Trump then goes into campaign mode, adding more shots at Bill Clinton (who’s still not running for president, Donald!).
“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. … 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.”
That’s not an apology. That’s egotism.
Republican Strategist and Political Commentator Ana Navarro has been the only Republican with the courage to call out Trump as far back as the primary debates. On CNN Friday afternoon, Navarro was asked if words of apology from Trump would satisfy her.
“Look,” Navarro said, “what I think Donald Trump needs to do is quit. I think he needs to stop being the Republican nominee. He is dragging this entire process down the gutter. He is dragging the entire Republican Party down the gutter.
“You have to understand, he cannot win. He is irredeemable. This is not something that you’re going to recover from, and the reason he can’t recover from it is because this is consistent behavior from Donald Trump. This is not a onetime [event]. We have heard it throughout this entire campaign. … We’ve heard him attack Miss Universe. We’ve heard him talk about Megyn Kelly’s menstrual cycle. We’ve heard him judge women by giving them numbers or scores…
“How many times does [Trump] get away with saying something misogynistic, before we call him a misogynist? How many times does he get away with saying something sexist, before we acknowledge that it is he who is sexist?
“It is not enough for Republican leadership to disavow his comments, to condemn his words. It is time to condemn the man. It is time to ask him to step down. It is time for him to tell America, he does not represent Republican values. … This man is not fit to be President of the United States. He is not fit to be the Republican nominee. He is not fit to be called a man.”
As the list of Republicans calling for Trump to step down grows, Trump gave this statement to The Wall Street Journal when asked if he would resign:
“Zero chance. I’ve never quit in my life. . . . I can give you my word that I’m never leaving.”
Wednesday: My take on the second debate!