Donald Trump has issued a formal apology for the misogynist comments he made while speaking to Billy Bush in 2005. Video of the conversation—in which Trump openly discussed the way in which he sexually preys on women—was released by The Washington Post Friday, igniting a furious backlash that many believe could be the final nail in the coffin for his struggling campaign.
“Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am. I said it. I am wrong. I apologize," Trump said via the 90-second video, which was released some time after midnight. “I’ve never said I am a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I am not. I’ve said and done things I regret and the words released today on this more than decade-old video are one of them."
Despite his admission of guilt, Trump did what he does best, by deflecting his actions onto someone else. “I’ve said some foolish things but there is a big difference between the words and actions of other people," he continued. "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.”
Republicans and Democrats lined up to condemn the candidate, including Hillary Clinton, who tweeted: "This is horrific. We cannot allow this man to become president.”
Top-ranking Republican Paul Ryan meanwhile, was forced to cancel an event on Saturday in which he was scheduled to appear with Trump in Wisconsin. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell called Trump’s words “unacceptable in any circumstance,” while Marco Rubio found the comments "vulgar, egregious and impossible to justify.”
While many prominent Republicans have yet to officially withdraw their endorsements of Trump—both John McCain and Ted Cruz stopped short of abandoning he candidate—some members of the party conceded that they can no longer support him. “While I cannot vote for Hillary Clinton, I will not vote for Trump,” said Gary Herbert, the Republican governor of Utah. "I’m out—I can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for president,” echoed Republican congressman Jason Chaffetz. "It is some of the most abhorrent and offensive comments that you can possibly imagine.”