Donald Trump, under pressure to step aside as the Republican presidential candidate after the disclosure of his having made lewd comments about women, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Saturday that there is “zero chance I’ll quit.”
“I never, ever give up,” Mr. Trump said. He also said his campaign isn’t in crisis: “The support I’m getting is unbelievable, because Hillary Clinton is a horribly flawed candidate.”
Mr. Trump said the commotion over his remarks will blow over as it did in other instances, such as after his attacks on Sen. John McCain and his proposed ban on Muslims
About his sexually charged statements caught on tape, Mr. Trump said, “People get it. They get life.”
Asked about the reaction of the two women with whom he is closest, wife Melania Trump and daughter Ivanka Trump, he replied: “I was with Ivanka yesterday; I’m with Melania now. They fully understand, and they’re very loyal.”
Unlike in a video he taped and released last night, Mr. Trump, who spoke on Saturday from his Manhattan home in Trump Tower, offered no apologies in the Journal interview, but rather went on the offensive. “Go behind closed doors of the holier-than-thou politicians and pundits and see what they’re saying. I look like a baby.”
Since the disclosure of the 2005 video in which Mr. Trump describes his attempt to have sex with a married woman and talks in graphic terms about how he makes advances on women, a growing stream of Republican figures have either rescinded their endorsements of his candidacy or have asked him to leave the top of the GOP ticket.
Former GOP presidential contender Carly Fiorina on Saturday called on him to quit the campaign, as did Sens. Mike Crapo of Idaho and Mike Lee of Utah. New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, in a tight race to save her seat, withdrew her endorsement.
Responding to that wave of defections, Mr. Trump said such a reaction from Republicans “is why they don’t win presidential elections.” Meanwhile, he said, “my phone hasn’t stopped ringing, emails are coming in and even people outside Trump Tower are supporting me.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Trump’s GOP running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, released a statement declaring himself “offended” by the lewd remarks Mr. Trump was recorded saying. “I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them,” Mr. Pence said. “I am grateful that he has expressed remorse and apologized to the American people. We pray for his family and look forward to the opportunity he has to show what is in his heart when he goes before the nation tomorrow night.”
On the same day that Mr. Trump’s lewd remarks to an “Access Hollywood” host were leaked, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton also was hit with a damaging disclosure.
Online publisher of secret information Wikileaks on Friday released what it claimed were emails regarding her private speeches to financial firms in the past that showed her taking a tone in private that is more favorable to free trade and to banks than she has often taken on the campaign trail. The Clinton campaign declined to comment on the emails’ authenticity.
“Of course, I’d expect the media to focus more on me,” Mr. Trump said in Saturday’s Journal interview.
For the rest of Saturday, the GOP candidate said he is “preparing and studying” for Sunday’s nationally televised debate with Mrs. Clinton, but he wouldn’t offer specifics. “I don’t like to get into that,” he said.
But he said his focus in Sunday night’s debate, to be held in a town-hall format, will be: “If you want to make America great again, vote for me. If you want four more years of Obama, the failed Obamacare, open borders and horrible trade deals, vote for Hillary.”
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