Just a day away from the second presidental debate, Westchester estate owner Donald Trump is facing a backlash and calls to withdraw from the race after the Friday release of a videotape that captured lewd comments about groping women that were captured by a hot microphone.
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House Speaker Paul Ryan, who was scheduled to join Trump Saturday at a Wisconsin rally, scrapped Trump's participation, saying he was "sickened" by Trump's comments.
Other Republicans pulled their endorsements of Trump and some called for him to pull out of the race, including former New York Gov. George Pataki. The Garrison resident and Peekskill native said in a tweet that the Trump "campaign is a poisonous mix of bigotry & ignorance. Enough! He needs to step down."
Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman, also condemned Trump's comments, saying in a statement: "No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever."
Trump posted a midnight video statement (above) on his campaign's Facebook page in which he issued a rare apology before focusing on Chappaqua resident Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, and her husband Bill.
"Hillary Clinton, and her kind, have run our country into the ground," Trump said. "I’ve said some foolish things, but there is a big difference between words and actions. Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims. We will discuss this more in the coming days."
Trump had been married to third wife Melania Trump for four months when he made the lewd comments while inside a luxury bus en route to taping a segment for "Access Hollywood." The NBC-TV show followed Trump as he made a cameo appearance on the NBC soap opera “Days of Our Lives" with actress Arianne Zucker, who at the time was married to actor Kyle Lowder, a Pleasantville native.
"I'm automatically attracted to beautiful women — I just start kissing them, it's like a magnet," Trump said in a conversation with the show's then-host Billy Bush." "I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. ... Grab 'em by the (expletive deleted)."
Earlier in the conversation with Bush, Trump had talked about pursuing a married woman, identified Friday evening by "Access Hollywood" as the show's former anchor, Nancy O’Dell.
"I moved on her actually, she was down in Palm Beach and I failed, I'll admit it," Trump said in the audiotape. "I did try to (expletive deleted). She was married … and I moved on her very heavily."
The release of the video was first reported by The Washington Post on Friday afternoon.
Trump's presidential campaign opponent and Clinton's wife, Chappaqua's Hillary Clinton, quickly pounced on the bombshell development with a tweet saying, "This is horrific. We cannot allow this man to become president."
Billy Bush, who is the cousin of former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and who now appears on NBC's "Today" Show, also issued an apology, saying: “Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed. It’s no excuse, but this happened eleven years ago — I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry.”
Jeb Bush tweeted" "As the grandfather of two precious girls, I find that no apology can excuse away Donald Trump's reprehensible comments degrading women."
Trump and Hillary Clinton will meet in the second presidential debate on Sunday at 9 p.m. in St. Louis.
Trump, who owns an estate in Bedford, also owns Trump National Golf Club Hudson Valley in Stormville and Trump National Westchester in Briarcliff Manor. The Trump name also adorns Trump Tower At City Center in White Plains, Trump Plaza in New Rochelle, Trump Park Residences in Yorktown and the Donald J. TrumpState Park on the Westchester/Putnam border.
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