Asked about audio from 2005 where he is heard saying that he can “grab [women] by the pussy,” presidential candidate Donald Trump denied sexually assaulting women.
“This was locker room talk. I am not proud of it. I apologized to my family and the American people,” Trump said during the debate Sunday night.
“We need to get on to much more important and bigger things,” he said. “Nobody has more respect for women than I do.”
Trump initially failed to address whether he had actually done the things he can be heard talking about, but when pressed by moderator Anderson Cooper on whether his comments were true, Trump said “I have not.”
The question set the tone early for the debate. Trump has been beleaguered by criticism, including from within his party, since the video surfaced Friday, with dozens of Republican leaders retracting their endorsements or condemning the statements.
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton did not accept Trump’s denial, saying, “This is who Donald Trump is.”
“I think it’s clear to anyone who heard it, that had represents exactly who he is,” Clinton said. “We have seen this throughout the campaign. We have seen him insult women. We have seen him rate women on their appearance, ranking them from one to 10 and embarrass women on and Twitter.”