WASHINGTON – Donald Trump’s lewd videotaped remarks about women threw his White House campaign, and the Republican Party as a whole, in crisis just 30 days from the election Saturday, on the eve of his second debate with rival Hillary Clinton.
Trump nevertheless rejected growing calls from elected members of his own party that he step aside in the presidential race over the 2005 remarks, insisting there is ‘‘zero chance I’ll quit.’’
Trump’s own wife Melania said she was offended by her husband’s comments, which were caught on a hot mic just months after the two married – the real estate magnate’s third marriage – boasting about his ability to grope women as he pleases.
But she urged American voters to accept his apology and support him. “The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me. This does not represent the man that I know,” Melania Trump said in a statement.
‘‘He has the heart and mind of a leader. I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world.’’
The videotape, released Friday by The Washington Post, forced a rare apology from a campaign that was already peppered by controversies over Trump’s treatment of women, and set off an uproar in his Republican Party.
The Republican National Committee appeared to have halted part of its ‘‘Victory’’ program to elect Trump, with the RNC asking a vendor to ‘‘put a hold’’ on mail production, the Politico news website reported. (AFP)