Donald Trump was caught making offensive sexual comments about women in a 2005 video obtained and made public by The Washington Post on Friday.
“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them,” Trump can be heard saying on the recording. “It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”
“When you’re a star, they let you do it,” he continues. “You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
The comments, which were caught on a live microphone, were part of a conversation between Trump and Billy Bush of Access Hollywood aboard a bus, according to the Post. The video was reportedly shot in 2005 as Trump arrived to film a segment in advance of a cameo on the soap opera Days Of Our Lives. The video shows a bus with Access Hollywood branding approaching the camera as Trump and Bush discuss an unidentified woman.
“I moved on her and I failed. I’ll admit it. I did try and fuck her. She was married,” Trump is heard saying. “I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there, and she was married.” He continues by commenting on the woman’s appearance. “Then, all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”
Trump and Bush later emerge from the bus and greet actress Arianne Zucker, who was there to meet them. The camera follows all three into the studio.
The Trump campaign released a statement on the video by email shortly after the Post’s story went live, apparently confirming the veracity of the video.
“This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended,” the statement read in its entirety.
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Later on Friday, Trump issued a video response saying he is "not a perfect person" and that he regrets making the comments.
“I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize,” he said.
Women’s rights advocates immediately condemned the comments.
"What Trump described in these tapes amounts to sexual assault. Trump's behavior is disgusting and unacceptable in any context, and it is disqualifying for a man who is running for president of this country,” Planned Parenthood Action Fund executive vice president Dawn Laguens said in an emailed statement.
Political advocacy group Emily’s List also released a statement on the tape, calling it difficult to watch. “The tape cuts to the core of who Donald Trump is: someone who judges women based on their appearance and views them as little more than sex objects,” wrote Marcy Stech, vice president of communications. “There is no excuse for this reprehensible behavior.”
NARAL Pro-Choice America National Communications Director Kaylie Hanson Long released the following statement in response to Donald Trump's vulgar comments: "Donald Trump apparently thinks he has the right to sexually assault women because he's famous. Never mind consent, he doesn't think he needs it. He's not a role model, he's vulgar and dangerous, and his disregard for women has never been more clear."
Trump’s opponent in the presidential race, Hillary Clinton, also responded to the tape on Twitter. "This is horrific," she wrote. "We cannot allow this man to become president."