Republicans race to denounce Trump comments; some pull endorsements

Top Republicans raced Friday to denounce GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump for a 2005 video released by the Washington Post of Trump engaged in a vulgar conversation about groping and attempting to seduce women.

In the hours after the video appeared, top Republicans denounced the comments, and some renounced the candidate as well.

House Speaker Paul Ryan cancelled a "unity appearance" with Trump that had been scheduled for Saturday in Wisconsin.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who has generally avoided commenting on Trump's controversial statements, said late Friday that Trump's comments "are repugnant and unacceptable in any circumstance" and the nominee "needs to apologize directly to women and girls everywhere."

GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, announced that he was retracting his endorsement of Trump — he won't vote for Hillary Clinton, Chaffetz said, but he can't vote for Trump either.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert followed suit, saying he cannot vote for Trump either.

Louisiana Sen, Bill Cassidy, who has endorsed Trump and said he would campaign with him, tweeted late Friday night, "Every life has value. This has been part of the Republican Party platform since it was founded. Mr. Trump’s statements and actions as revealed in this release from 2005 do not represent this. They are to be condemned."

Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo said Trump "must take full responsibility for this unacceptable disrespect of women, renounce it and apologize, no excuses."

Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman said Trump should step aside as the Republican nominee. "For the good of the country, and to give the Republicans a chance of defeating Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump should step aside," Coffman said in a statement.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who declined to endorse Trump at the Republican National Convention but ultimately did so late last month, denounced the comments as well.


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