Nigel Farage has defended lewd comments made by American presidential candidate Donald Trump as "alpha-male boasting".
"It's the kind of thing, if we're being honest, that men do," the interim leader of UKIP said, appearing on Fox News ahead of the second presidential debate tonight with Hillary Clinton.
"They sit around and have a drink and they talk like this. And by the way, quite a lot of women say things amongst themselves that they would not want to see on Fox News or on the front page of newspapers."
On Friday, the Washington Post published a video recorded in 2005 that captured Trump on a hot mic making a series of lewd comments, including one about trying to have sex with a married woman.
“I moved on her and I failed, I’ll admit it,” Trump can be heard saying in the video. “I did try and fuck her. She was married.”
In the same recording, he goes on to say: “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful, I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.
“Grab them by the pussy,” Trump adds. “You can do anything.”
A host of senior Republicans have abandoned Trump over the comments, but Farage said Trump focus on the election.
Farage said he believed it was important for Trump, who has issued an apology for the comments, to acknowledge his wrongdoing, but try to bring Sunday's debate back to policy issues.
"If I were Trump going into this tomorrow, I would say 'hands up, I have behaved in a very alpha-male boorish way, I apologise, but hey, let's talk about the real issues, let's talk about America's place in the world, let's talk about security, let's talk about people's incomes and the manufacturing industry'," Farage continued.
Farage, who was last week rumoured to be traveling to the US to coach Trump for the debate following his success in convincing the British public to vote to leave the European Union, said he believed that Trump could flip the fallout in his favour.
"At least there's an honesty about Trump. Whether you like it or not, he is what he is," Farage said. "He's not running to be pope, he's running to be president of the USA, a human being, every human being is flawed and if his flaws are all out there and we haven't heard all of Hillary's, this may not look as bad in a week's time as it does in this morning."
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood called Farage a "thug" over the comments.
Elsewhere, Star Trek actor Wil Wheaton was less restrained, calling the UKIP leader a "vomit-filled skinbag" for defending Trump.
Laura Silver is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Laura Silver at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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