UPDATE: Trump’s running mate Mike Pence announced on Saturday, October 8, that he would not be attending the Paul Ryan–hosted political event in Wisconsin either.
ORIGINAL STORY: Not a part of his pack. Paul Ryan, Kelly Ayotte and other leading GOP figures condemned Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Friday, October 7, shortly after The Washington Post released footage of the real estate mogul making lewd comments about women.
“I am sickened by what I heard today. Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified,” Ryan, 46, said in a statement. “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.”
The House Speaker went one step further and also disinvited Trump, 70, from a political event he was to host in his Wisconsin congressional district on Saturday, October 8. In a short statement issued moments after Ryan’s, Trump confirmed that his vice presidential running mate, Mike Pence, “will be representing me” at the Wisconsin event.
Sen. Ayotte (R-NH), who recently came under fire for calling Trump a “role model,” also quickly issued a statement calling Trump’s comments “totally inappropriate and offensive.”
Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who previously endorsed Trump, similarly distanced himself from the former Apprentice host. “I’m out. I can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for president,” he said in a statement. “It is some of the most abhorrent and offensive comments that you can possibly imagine.”
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who has previously remained largely silent after Trump’s many gaffes, issued a statement denouncing Trump’s words. “No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also released a statement slamming Trump’s “repugnant” comments. “As the father of three daughters, I strongly believe that Trump needs to apologize directly to women and girls, and take full responsibility for the utter lack of respect for women shown in his comments on that tape.”
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), who has refused to endorse the candidate, tweeted that Trump “should drop out,” and called for the GOP to “engage rules for emergency replacement.”
One Republican strategist told NBC News that the party is shaken by their nominee’s damaging words. “It’s over,” the strategist said. “Never seen anything like it. Never will.”
A Trump campaign staffer similarly told NBC that “this one matters,” and that the team had “no idea” how to spin the story in the Republican party’s favor.
As previously reported, in a newly surfaced 2005 video obtained and published by The Washington Post, Trump tells Access Hollywood host Billy Bush that “when you’re a star,” it’s acceptable to “grab [women] by the p—y. You can do anything.”
“Whatever you want,” Bush echoes in the audio.
Trump has since issued a video statement via Twitter, claiming that his crass comments on the video “don’t reflect who I am.”
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