Donald Trump issued a videotaped, late-night apology as he sought to recover from a political bombshell on Friday when the Washington Post published a video of Trump bragging about grabbing and kissing women in what he thought was a private conversation in 2005.
"I've never pretended to be a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I'm not," Trump said. "I've said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this decade-old video is one of them."
"Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize," he said.
Trump recorded the video after an earlier half-apology for the hot-mic moment where he described his 2005 comments as "harmless locker-room banter." In the 2005 tape, Trump said he could grab women "by the pussy" and kiss them because he's "a star."
But as the scandal widened, prominent Republicans lined up to condemn the remarks. House Speaker Paul Ryan cancelled a campaign appearance with Trump on Saturday, and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in a statement, "No woman should ever be victimized by this kind of inappropriate behavior. He alone bears the burden of his conduct and alone should suffer the consequences."
Former Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina called on Trump to step aside: "Today I ask Donald Trump to step aside and for the RNC to replace him with Gov. Mike Pence."
After his apology, Trump promised to use the issue to attack Hillary Clinton in their second presidential debate in St. Louis on Sunday.
"Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims," Trump said. "We will discuss this more in the coming days. See you at the debate on Sunday."