Donald Trump defended his leaked sex tape as simply “locker room talk” when CNN host Anderson Cooper asked about the controversy at Sunday’s presidential debate.
“I apologized to my family. I apologize to to the American people, certainly I’m not proud of but certainly this is locker room talk,” Trump said when Cooper asked him about the comments.
Hillary Clinton received the first question during Sunday’s second presidential debate and it was not about Trump’s lewd comments, despite CNN’s Brian Stelter reporting earlier in the day that moderators Cooper and Martha Raddatz of ABC would start off the debate with talk of the scandal. Plans might have changed when Trump met with three women that have accused former President Bill Clinton of rape and unwanted sexual advances prior to the debate.
“I’m very embarrassed by it. I hate it, but it’s locker room talk. It’s one of those things,” Trump said.
Trump tried to pivot to ISIS, but Cooper followed up and Trump denied doing the things he bragged about on the tape and repeated that he was embarrassed by his comments.
When asked to respond, Clinton said she has thought about the Trump tape for the last 48 hours.
“With prior Republican nominees for president, I disagreed with them, politics, policies and principles, but I never questioned their fitness to serve. Donald Trump is different,” Clinton said.
On Friday, The Washington Post published a videotape of Trump on a hot mic boasting to Billy Bush about kissing, groping and having sex with women, saying that “when you’re a star, they let you do anything … I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” he said. “Grab ‘em by the p-y.”
The revelation has thrown the presidential election into further turmoil, with Republican leaders – many of them in intense election races – withdrawing support for the billionaire candidate.
Former “Access Hollywood” host Bush, who now works for the “Today” show, has been suspended by NBC, pending further review of the situation. He is heard throughout the tape agreeing with Trump and even egging him on.
A coin toss by the Commission on Presidential Debates determined that Clinton spoke first.