Trump refuses to step down in face of tape backlash

Donald Trump is refusing to back down from the presidential race, telling news outlets that there is “zero chance” he’ll quit after a controversial 2005 tape leaked of his derogatory and vulgar comments about women.

There is “zero chance I’ll quit,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal Saturday. The “support I’m getting is unbelievable.”

In a separate interview with the Washington Post, Trump said he’d “never withdraw.”

“I’ve never withdrawn in my life,” Trump said over the phone from Trump Tower. “No, I’m not quitting this race. I have tremendous support.”

“People are calling and saying, ‘Don’t even think about doing anything else but running,” he continued. “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.”

On Saturday afternoon, he tweeted: "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!"

Related: Trump apologizes as raunchy tape emerges


Trump said Clinton was “so bad” that it made competing against the Democratic nominee easier.

“She’s so flawed as a candidate. Running against her, I can’t say it’d be the same if I ran against someone else, but running against her makes it a lot easier, that’s for sure,” he said.”

Of the scandalous tape and how it’s dominated the news cycle over the past day, Trump added: “I’ve been here before, I’ll tell ya, in life...I understand life and how you make it through. You go through things. I’ve been through many. It’s called life. And it’s always interesting.”

Another brief phone interview with the New York Times Saturday afternoon showed that despite top Republican calls for him to step down, Trump remains defiant about his chances.

“I haven’t heard from anyone saying I should drop out, and that would never happen, never happen,” Trump said. “That’s not the kind of person I am. I am in this until the end.”

The real estate magnate added that he would “never drop out of this race in a million years.”

He stayed confident that he would still win the race.

“Oh yeah, we can win — we will win,” Trump said. “We have tremendous support. I think a lot of people underestimate how loyal my supporters are.”

Numerous Republicans have heavily criticized Trump’s comments from 2005, when he was privately recorded bragging about his attempts at having sex with women and groping them. On the tape, originally obtained by the Washington Post, Trump can be heard saying that he could “grab [women] by the p****” and “you can make them do anything.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan disinvited Trump from a Wisconsin campaign event following the publication of the tape and said that he was “sickened” by what he heard.

“Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified,” Ryan said in a statement, though he did not rescind his endorsement of the GOP nominee. “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.”

Some top GOP lawmakers have even pulled their support of the nominee entirely.

New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who faces a tough re-election battle, said Saturday in a statement that she “will not vote for Donald Trump.”

Others like Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk, whose Senate seat is also in danger this year, called on Trump to “drop out” of the race on Twitter. 

Trump issued a taped apology Friday night on the matter: “I’ve never said I’m a perfect person,” he said. “Nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. 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.”

And on Saturday morning, Trump noted on Twitter that it has “certainly been an interesting 24 hours!” 

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