Donald Trump's presidential campaign was in meltdown on Saturday after the Washington Post published a video in which he talked about trying to have sex with a married woman and insinuating he sexually assaulted women.
“I did try and fuck her. She was married," Trump said in the video, adding later that as a star he can "do anything" to women, including "grab them by the pussy."
The conversation was recorded in 2005 while Trump was preparing to film a cameo on a soap opera.
The video earned Trump some of the harshest criticism yet, with numerous high-profile political leaders, including many from his own party, calling the comments unforgivable.
A growing list of Republicans have since abandoned the candidate altogether, with many calling for Trump to step down and make way for his running mate, Mike Pence, to lead the ticket.
The Republican National Committee on Saturday temporarily halted some operations for its Victory project, which is designed to help elect Trump, Politico reported.
On Saturday, though, Trump vowed he would never withdraw from the race. “No, I’m not quitting this race. I have tremendous support,” he told the Washington Post.
Arizona Sen. John McCain, who was the Republican presidential nominee in 2008, said there were "no excuses" for Trump's comments. On Saturday, he withdrew his support.
In a statement, McCain said that "there are no excuses for Donald Trump's offensive and demeaning comments."
"No woman should ever be victimized by this kind of inappropriate behavior. He alone bears the burden of his conduct and alone should suffer the consequences."
His statement on Saturday said he wanted to support Trump because "as a past nominee" he felt it important to respect the nomination process:
But Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy. Cindy, with her strong background in human rights and respect for women fully agrees with me in this.
Cindy and I will not vote for Donald Trump. I have never voted for a Democratic presidential candidate and we will not vote for Hillary Clinton. We will write in the name of some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be President.
John Thune, the third-highest-ranking Republican in the Senate, said Trump needs to withdraw from the race.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Trump should withdraw from the race.
New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who is facing a tough re-election race, said Saturday that she would not vote for Trump — but would instead write in Mike Pence's name.
Ayotte, who previously said she would vote for Trump despite her criticisms of him, said on Twitter that she "will not support a candidate for president who brags about degrading and assaulting women."
Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, another former Trump backer, said he would instead write in Pence's name.
Rep. Joe Heck, who is running for retiring Sen. Harry Reid's seat in Nevada, told a rally in Las Vegas he would not support the Republican presidential candidate.
"I accept that none of us are perfect. Truly, I am not infallible," he said Saturday. "However, I can no longer look past the pattern of behavior and comments that have been made by Donald Trump. Therefore, I cannot in good conscience continue to support Donald Trump nor can I vote for Hillary Clinton.
"My wife, my daughters, my mom, my sister, and all women deserve better. All Americans deserve better.
"I believe our only option is to formally ask Mr. Trump to step down and allow Republicans the opportunity to elect someone who will provide us with the strong leadership we desperately need and Americans deserve," he said, to scattered boos.
Jason Chaffetz, a congressman from Utah, also revoked his support for Trump on Friday night, saying, "I'm out. I'm pulling my endorsement."
Rep. Martha Roby of Alabama also recanted her previous endorsement of Trump, saying he needs to "step aside and allow a responsible, respectable Republican to lead the ticket."
Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho also pulled his endorsement and called on Trump to step aside.
Gov. Gary Herbert of Utah announced Friday night that in light of the comments he would no longer vote for Trump.
Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer, who previously said she supported Trump for president, said it would be wise for him to step aside.
Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she wouldn't support her party's nominee, saying he had "forfeited the right" to be the GOP standard-bearer.
Her colleague Sen. Dan Sullivan also said the "reprehensible revelations" about Trump had led him to withdraw his endorsement.
"Enough is enough," said. Gov. Dennis Daugaard on Saturday, calling on Trump to step aside.
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said he would not vote for Trump because the video exposed "an established pattern" that is "repulsive and unacceptable."
Arnold Schwarzenegger, the former California governor and actor, said he will not vote for a Republican candidate for president for the first time since 1983.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty also pulled his endorsement.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said he was "sickened" by Trump's comments, and disinvited Trump to campaign in Wisconsin this weekend.
Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney called the comments "vile degradations."
Sen. Marco Rubio, another former rival in the Republican primaries, called the comments "vulgar, egregious, and impossible to justify."
Trump's former primary challenger, Carly Fiorina, said Saturday that the businessman should make way for Mike Pence.
She released the following statement on Facebook:
Donald Trump does not represent me or my party. I understand the responsibility of Republicans to support their nominee. Our nominee has weighty responsibilities as well. Donald Trump has manifestly failed in these responsibilities.
I have traveled the country for years warning Americans that Hillary Clinton is unfit to be President.
We must have a conservative in the White House to restore accountability, opportunity and security. For the sake of our Constitution and the rule of law, we must defeat Hillary Clinton.
Today I ask Donald Trump to step aside and for the RNC to replace him with Gov. Mike Pence.
Sen. Ted Cruz, who also challenged Trump for their party's nomination before endorsing him last month, called Trump's comments "disturbing and inappropriate," adding, "there is simply no excuse for them."
Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida and another 2016 Republican presidential contender, tweeted that "no apology can excuse away Donald Trump's reprehensible comments degrading women."
On Saturday, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, also a former Republican contender, said Trump's comments were indefensible.
"Nothing that has happened in the last 48 hours is surprising to me or many others," he said in another statement on Saturday that made clear he would not vote for Trump.
He said his long-standing decision to decline to endorse Trump had been vindicated.
Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican Party, said in a statement that "no woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever."
Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, called Trump's comments "repugnant" in a statement to BuzzFeed News.
Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, a GOP rising star and prominent Trump backer, said there was "no excuse" for his comments.
Sen. Mike Lee of Utah said Trump should "step aside. Step down. Let someone else carry the banner of these principles."
Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk called on Trump to drop out of the race.
Jon Huntsman Jr., the former governor of Utah and a presidential contender in 2012, also called on Trump to drop out.
Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake said "America deserves far better" than Trump.
Sen. Orrin Hatch called the comments "offensive and disgusting" and said "there is no excuse for such degrading behavior."
West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said, "The appropriate next step may be for him to reexamine his candidacy."
Alabama Rep. Bradley Byrne said Trump is not fit to be president.
"Donald Trump's comments regarding women were disgraceful and appalling," Byrne said in a statement. "There are absolutely no circumstances under which it would ever be appropriate to speak of women in such a way."
"It is now clear Donald Trump is not fit to be President of the United States and cannot defeat Hillary Clinton. I believe he should step aside and allow Governor Pence to lead the Republican ticket," he said.
Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman called on Trump to step aside Friday night "for the good of the country."
Utah Rep. Mia Love, the first black female Republican in Congress, said Trump should step aside "for the good of the party, and the country."
Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt also walked back his past Trump support and said the candidate should withdraw.
Former Trump policy coordinator Pratik Chougule said he regrets working for the campaign and "under no circumstances" will he vote for Trump.
Senator Rob Portman from Ohio withdrew his support Saturday evening.
In a written statement, the Ohio senator said he still opposed Hillary Clinton for president, but that he could no longer support Trump's candidacy for the White House.
Instead, Portman wrote in the statement, he would vote for Mike Pence — Trump's pick for vice president — for president.
"I thought it was appropriate to respect the millions of voters across the country who chose Donald Trump as the Republican Party nominee. While I continue to respect those who still support Donald Trump, I can no longer support him," the statement read. "I continue to believe our country cannot afford a Hillary Clinton presidency. I will be voting for Mike Pence for President."
On Sunday, Gov. Bill Haslam issued a statement saying that for the “good of the nation” Trump should drop out of the race.
Haslam said that in the past he expressed concerns with Trump’s policy positions and objected to many of the things he said during the campaign.
“I want to emphasize that character in our leaders does matter. None of us in elected office are perfect, but the decisions that are made in the Oval Office have too many consequences to ignore the behavior we have seen," Haslam said in a statement.
“It is time for the good of the nation and the Republican Party for Donald Trump to step aside and let Gov. Mike Pence assume the role as the party’s nominee. If he does not step aside, I will write in a Republican for the office of President."
Rep. Kay Granger of Texas said Sunday that Trump should withdraw after his "disgusting" comments.
During the Republican primary, Granger had sharply criticized Trump's run for president — saying that "he definitely should not be considered to speak for our nation as our president" — and she never endorsed him in the general election. Yet she twisted the knife further on Sunday with a statement calling on him to drop out.
"We have heard rumors about the insensitive and vulgar things Mr. Trump says about women," Granger, a Republican from Texas's 12th District, said in a statement to local news outlets. "But watching that video is disgusting. Mr. Trump should remove himself from consideration as Commander in Chief."
Jim Dalrymple is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
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