After Vowing to "Never" Withdraw, Donald Trump Greets Supporters Amid Tape Controversy
"I said it. I was wrong, and I apologize," said Trump in a video message Friday night. "I pledge to be a better man."
On Saturday morning, as the media firestorm continued to rage with many, even some from his own party, calling for his withdrawal from the race, Donald Trump says he'd "never" withdraw.
"I'd never withdraw. I’ve never withdrawn in my life," the GOP presidential nominee told the Washington Post, who broke the story about the Trump tape on Friday. “No, I’m not quitting this race. I have tremendous support.”
He added: "People are calling and saying, 'Don’t even think about doing anything else but running.' You have to see what’s going on. The real story is that people have no idea the support. I don’t know how that’s going to boil down, but people have no idea the support."
He also took to Twitter to say it "has been an interesting 24 hours!" and then later reiterated his vow.
Certainly has been an interesting 24 hours!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2016
The media and establishment want me out of the race so badly - I WILL NEVER DROP OUT OF THE RACE, WILL NEVER LET MY SUPPORTERS DOWN! #MAGA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2016
After spending the day holed up inside in NYC doing debate prep for Sunday's showdown with Hillary Clinton, Trump stepped outside his Trump Tower late on Saturday. He saluted and high-fived the supporters who had been rallying outside the building and his campaign headquarters, pumping his fist at the few hundred onlookers.
Trump had released a video message late Friday night in response to the controversy surrounding crass comments he made about women in 2005. In the video response, which aired live on CNN and was posted on Trump's social media accounts, he issued an apology for his "foolish" remarks that resurfaced Friday.
"I've never said I'm a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I'm not," he said in the video. "I've said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more-than-a-decade-old video are one of them."
"Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am," he said. "I said it. I was wrong, and I apologize."
In the video message, Trump said that his travels around the country have "changed" him and that "people from all walks of life" have humbled him. "I pledge to be a better man tomorrow and will never ever let you down."
"Let's be honest," he continued. "We're living in the real world. This is nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we're facing today."
He went on to slam Hillary and Bill Clinton, saying that Bill has "abused woman" and that "Hillary Clinton and her kind have run our country into the ground."
Earlier Friday, a leaked audiotape of Trump talking about making advances on Nancy O'Dell, a current correspondent for Entertainment Tonight who was then a co-host on Access Hollywood, was released online by the Post. In the audio, captured on a hot microphone, Trump and former Access Hollywood co-host Billy Bush are overheard having a lewd conversation about Trump's advances.
"I moved on her, and I failed. I'll admit it," Trump can be heard saying about O'Dell. "I did try and f— her. She was married."
He continues, "I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn't get there. And she was married."
The resurfaced audio reportedly was recorded when Trump, who was newly married to Melania Trump at the time, appeared on Access Hollywood to discuss his cameo on Days of Our Lives.
In his own statement issued earlier on Friday, Trump said: "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."
Bush also apologized for his involvement in the conversation in a statement Friday: "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."
Watch the original Access Hollywood video below.
Oct. 8, 8:50 a.m. PT Updated with Trump's Saturday interview and tweet.
Oct. 8, 2:45 p.m. Updated with Trump's appearance.