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Trump apologises for crude remarks about women in 2005 video

The taped apology came hours after the Washington Post released a shocking video of Trump offensively bragging about grabbing women and pursuing sex with them with impunity. Photograph: (Getty)

Washington, United States Oct 08, 2016, 01.37 AM (IST)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump apologised for vulgar language he used about groping and kissing women in a 2005 video whose release has rocked his campaign.

"I've said and done things I regret," he said. "Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologise."

Trump offered the remarks, believed to be the first full public apology that he has made in the duration of a campaign laced with insults and rhetoric, in a filmed statement hours after The Washington Post released a shocking video of Trump offensively bragging about grabbing women and pursuing sex with them with impunity.

"I've never said I'm a perfect person nor pretended to be someone I'm not," Trump said. "I pledge to be a better man tomorrow."

In the 2005 video, the then 59-year-old Trump is heard using predatory language as he describes hitting on a married woman and grabbing women's crotches.

"When you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything," he says.

The fallout from the release of this tape has been immense, going beyond the usual outrage expressed on social media and traditional media.

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Republicans like Gary Herbert, who said he would support Mr Trump, have changed their minds. Herbert is not the only Republican to withdraw support. Joining him is: Mike Coffman of Colorado, Barbara Comstock of Virginia, Jason Chaffetz of Utah, and Mike Kirk of Illinois.

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The Republican Senator Mike Lee, of Utah, called on Trump to drop out of the presidential race, which is only a month away. "I respectfully ask you, with all due respect, to step aside. Step down, allow someone else to carry the banner of these principles...rather than weighing down the American people," Lee see in a Facebook video posted on Friday evening.

The Telegraph is reporting that top Republican Party members are meeting to discuss what to do if Donald Trump steps down as their presidential candidate. While they have no formal power to make him resign, if they can convince him to voluntarily withdraw there is a process to replace him. This is all unprecedented territory, as no major party nominee has ever dropped his candidacy this late into a presidential race.

While Republican staffers are working on a contingency plan in case Trump exits the race, the provocative billionaire quickly and defiantly pivoted from his own crisis to attack the husband of his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, saying former president Bill Clinton "abused" women.

"I've said some foolish things, but there's a big difference between the words and actions of other people," he said. "Bill Clinton has actually abused women, and Hillary has bullied, attacked, and shamed his victims. We'll discuss this in the coming days," Trump said. "See you at the debate on Sunday."

Trump's crisis comes at a precarious moment for his campaign. He squares off against Clinton for the second time on Sunday, in St Louis, trailing the Democratic nominee in the polls, and with Clinton enjoying a dramatic lead over Trump with women voters. 

(WION with inputs from AFP)

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