'Grab them by the p***y'; Shocking Donald Trump video emerges
Donald Trump has been hit by a wave of widespread condemnation - much of it from his own party - after being caught on tape making shockingly crude comments about a married woman he tried to seduce.
The Republican US presidential candidate tried to head off some of the damage by issuing a statement apologising "if anyone was offended" by the vulgar remarks captured on a 2005 tape and made public on Friday.
In the recording, obtained by The Washington Post and NBC News, Mr Trump describes trying to have sex with the married woman and brags about women letting him kiss and grab them because he is famous.
"When you're a star they let you do it," he says. "You can do anything." He adds seconds later: "Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything."
The one-sentence response from the head of the Republican Party was devastating. "No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever," said Reince Priebus, who had stood by Mr Trump through his past provocative comments.
House of Representatives speaker Paul Ryan said he was sickened by Mr Trump's comments.
"I hope Mr Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests," he said, adding tartly that Mr Trump was "no longer attending" a joint campaign appearance in Wisconsin on Saturday.
Mr Trump himself later said he would be preparing for Sunday night's presidential TV debate instead.
While Mr Trump has survived numerous controversies that would have sunk other candidates, Friday's developments came at a crucial moment.
Less than five weeks from election day, he needs to expand his support and is struggling in particular with minorities and women and the unearthed tape of his comments can hardly help with women voters.
In a statement after the tape was revealed he called his comments "locker room banter" and a "private conversation that took place many years ago".
"Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course - not even close," he said. "I apologise if anyone was offended."
Other Republicans, painfully aware of Mr Trump's possible impact on their own political fates, were quick to chime in.
New Hampshire senator Kelly Ayotte, who is locked in a close race, called his comments "totally inappropriate and offensive".
And Mr Trump's running mate, Indiana governor Mike Pence, was "beside himself" and his wife was furious, according to a person familiar with their thinking.
Utah's Republican governor Gary Herbert withdrew support for Mr Trump, tweeting early on Saturday that his statements were "beyond offence and despicable".
But for all the condemnation, there was no mass party clamour for Mr Trump to bow out. One call, however, came from Colorado congressman Mike Coffman, who said Mr Trump should leave the race "for the good of the country and to give the Republicans a chance of defeating Hillary Clinton".
On the tape, Mr Trump is caught on a live microphone while talking with Billy Bush of Access Hollywood. The candidate is heard saying: "I did try and f*** her. She was married."
He also uses graphic terms to describe the woman's body and says he frequently tries to kiss beautiful women.
Access Hollywood said a recent story about Mr Trump's lewd behind-the-scenes comments as the star of The Apprentice led it to dig through its archives and turn up the previously unaired tape.
It was recorded during a bus ride while Mr Trump was on his way to appear in an episode of the soap opera Days Of Our Lives.
Mr Trump's Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, called his comments "horrific" and said: "We cannot allow this man to become president."
But she had her own problems with revelations.
The WikiLeaks organisation posted what it said were thousands of emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, including some with excerpts from speeches she gave to Wall Street executives and others - speeches she has declined to release despite demands from Mr Trump.
The excerpts include Mrs Clinton seeming to put herself in the free trade camp, a position she has retreated from. In a talk to a Brazilian bank in 2013, she said her dream was "a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders".
Mr Trump strongly opposes current US trade deals and insists Mrs Clinton is too cosy with Wall Street to reform it.
Friday's revelations came two days before Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton are to meet in the second presidential debate, with the Republican urgently in need of a strong performance.
After his uneven showing in the first contest, public opinion polls have showed Mrs Clinton pulling ahead in nearly all battleground states, some of which are already in the midst of early voting.
There were plenty of other problems for Mr Trump on what surely was one of the worst days of his two-year drive for the White House.
His advisers planned for him to spend a quiet Friday preparing for the debate and meeting border security officials. But the day was quickly consumed by a series of controversies, including Mr Trump's unsubstantiated claim about immigrants in the US illegally voting in the election and his questioning the innocence of five black teenagers exonerated in a 1989 rape case.
Then there were new signs of unusual links between Mr Trump and Russia. For the first time, the US publicly blamed the Russian government for hacking the Democratic National Committee and accused Moscow of trying to interfere with the American election.
Diplomats also said Russia had lodged a formal complaint with the United Nations over a UN official's condemnations of Mr Trump.