Donald Trump denied he had ever acted on his vulgar brags about groping women as Sunday night’s presidential debate kicked off.
“No, I have not,” Trump said after being pressed repeatedly by moderator Anderson Cooper on whether he had ever done the things he described in a leaked video.
In the 2005 video, Trump described his approach to “beautiful” women: “When you’re a star, they let you do it,” he said. “Grab them by the p—y. You can do anything.”
The comments have upended the Republican nominee’s campaign since they emerged Friday, with dozens of GOP officials pulling their support for his candidacy.
Moderators Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz appear during the town hall debate at Washington University on Sunday.
“If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse — mine are words, and his is action,” Trump said.
As he spoke, three women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct — Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, and Kathleen Willey — were in the debate hall in St. Louis.
Cooper said Trump’s comments in the video described “sexual assault,” which the GOP nominee denied.
“No, I didn’t say that at all. I don’t think you understand what was said. This was locker room talk,” he said.
“I apologize to the American people,” Trump said, before pivoting without explanation to discussing ISIS.
“I’m very embarrassed by it. I hate it. But it’s locker room talk, and it’s one of those things. I will knock the hell out of ISIS,” he said. “I will take care of ISIS, and we can get on to much more important things.”
Screen capture of ‘Access Hollywood’ host Billy Bush where he is met by actress Arianne Zucker. Donald Trump is heard using language to describe kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women.
(The Washington Post)
He continued to insist he has “great respect for women.”
But Hillary Clinton said the tape shows Trump’s true character.
“What we all saw and heard on Friday was Donald talking about women, what he thinks about women, what he does to women. And he has said the video doesn’t represent who he is, but I think it’s clear to anyone who heard it that it represents exactly who he is,” she said.
“We have seen him insult women, we’ve seen him rate women on their appearance…We’ve seen him embarrass women on TV and Twitter,” Clinton said. “Yes, this is who Donald Trump is.”