Trump's sexist boasts from 2005 take center stage at presidential debate

Donald Trump took the debate stage Sunday night with the weight of his sexist comments dragging his campaign down. After parading four women who accused the Clintons of misconduct before reporters, the GOP nominee came prepared for a personal fight with Hillary Clinton, reports CBS News correspondent Major Garrett. 

Trump quickly offered a defense of his videotaped comments making light of assaulting women. 

“It’s locker room talk, and it’s one of those things,” Trump said. 

Trump apologizes for lewd remarks 03:54

That talk appeared in a 2005 outtake from “Access Hollywood,” first published Friday by the Washington Post. 

“You can do anything. Grab them by the p***y. You can do anything,” Trump could be heard saying on the video.

Within hours, Trump released an online apology video, though it wasn’t enough to stop numerous Republican leaders from condemning him.

“I said it. I was wrong and I apologize,” Trump said.

When pressed Sunday night, he said his boasts were embarrassing and empty.

“I have tremendous respect for women,” Trump said.

“Have you ever done those things?” CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked.

“And women have respect for me. And I will tell you: No, I have not,” Trump responded.

That opened the door for Clinton to challenge Trump’s sincerity and his character.

“I think it’s clear to anyone who heard it that it represents exactly who he is,” Clinton said during the town hall debate.
Seeking to deflect criticism of his coarse and vulgar language, Trump launched long-dormant accusations of Bill Clinton’s sexual misconduct.

“Bill Clinton was abusive to women. Hillary Clinton attacked those same women and attacked them viciously,” Trump said.

Less than two hours before the debate, Trump appeared with four women who claim to have been victimized by the Clintons. 

“Bill Clinton raped me, and Hillary Clinton threatened me,” Juanita Broaddrick said. This explosive charge arises from an episode in 1978. Bill Clinton has extensively and consistently denied it. In the 1990s the Whitewater special counsel looked into the case and found evidence behind the charge inconclusive. 

The Trump campaign invited the women to join his debate entourage and sit in the audience.

“She talks about words that I said 11 years ago. I think it’s disgraceful, and I think she should be ashamed of herself,” Trump said.

Trump’s wife, Melania, issued a brief statement Saturday saying she accepted her husband’s apology, but daughter and adviser Ivanka has remained conspicuously silent. Running mate Mike Pence would not defend Trump’s sexist profanities, but aides said Pence remains committed to Trump and will campaign for him throughout the week.