WASHINGTON — Several days after footage of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump bragging about trying to have sex with a married woman and being able to grope women was released, House Speaker Paul Ryan told Republican lawmakers Monday that he will no longer campaign with or defend Donald Trump.
Sources say Ryan has not revoked his endorsement of Trump but has vowed to focus only on keeping his party’s House majority.
“The speaker is going to spend the next month focused entirely on protecting our congressional majorities,” said Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong, according to the Washington Post.
The leaked video shows the Republican presidential nominee making vulgar comments about in 2005.
Trump is heard discussing women in profane terms during off-camera banter while taping a segment for “Access Hollywood,” footage which was obtained by The Washington Post.
During the lewd conversation captured by a microphone Trump was wearing on his lapel, Trump recounts how he tried to “f***” an unidentified married woman before bragging that he is “automatically attracted to beautiful (women)” and just starts “kissing them.” The conversation came just months after Trump married his third and current wife, Melania.
He also said: “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything … Grab them by the p****. You can do anything.”
Trump released an apology on Facebook early Saturday morning, condemning his actions but vowing he has changed.
I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I’m not,” Trump said in the video. “I have 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.