Return to Transcripts main page


Donald Trump Releases Video Statement on Vulgar Remarks About Women; Aired 12-1:00a ET

Aired October 8, 2016 - 23:59   ET



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Breaking News.

[00:00:53] DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: You're looking at Trump Tower, 5th Avenue, right here in New York City. We're awaiting a video statement from the candidate, Donald Trump that is, expected at any moment now.

This is CNN TONIGHT. I am Don Lemon. Thank you for joining us.

It's all about this explosive revelation. Donald Trump caught on tape in 2005 bragging about being able to forcibly grope women because he is, quote, "a star." His language raw, obscene and repugnant.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I moved on her like a bitch. But I couldn't get there and she was married.


LEMON: That is just one moment from the tape published today by the "Washington Post," extraordinary audio from 2005 Donald Trump in a lewd conversation with Billy Bush who was then an "Access Hollywood" host. The language throughout is disturbing. But it's important for you to hear it for yourself.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She used to be great. She's still very beautiful.

TRUMP: I move on her actually. You know, she was down on Palm Beach. I moved on her and I failed. I'll admit it. I did try and -- she was married.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's huge news there.

TRUMP: No, no. Nancy. No, this was -- and I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, "I'll show you where they have some nice furniture." I took her out furniture -- I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn't get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her. She's now got the big phony tits and everything. She's totally changed her looks.

BILLY BUSH, FORMER ACCESS HOLLYWOOD HOST: Sheesh, your girl's hot as shit. In the purple.


BUSH: Yes. The Donald has scored. Whoa, my man. Wait, wait, you got to look at her when --


TRUMP: Look at you. You are a pussy. Maybe it's a different one.

BUSH: It better not be the publicist. No, it's her. It's her.

TRUMP: Yes, that's her, with the gold. I've got to use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful -- I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you start, they let you do it. You can do anything.

BUSH: Whatever you want.

TRUMP: Grab them by the pussy. I can do anything.

BUSH: Yes, those legs. All I can see is the legs.

TRUMP: It looks good.

BUSH: Come on, shorty.

TRUMP: Oh, nice legs, huh?

BUSH: Get out of the way, honey.

TRUMP: Those good legs.

BUSH: Go ahead.

TRUMP: It's always good if you don't fall out of the bus. Like Ford. Gerald Ford, remember?

BUSH: Down below. Pull the handle.

TRUMP: Hello. How are you? Hi.

ARIANNE ZUCKER, ACTRESS: Hi, Mr. Trump. How are you?

TRUMP: Nice seeing you. Terrific.

ZUCKER: Nice to meet you.

TRUMP: Terrific. You know Billy Bush?

ZUCKER: How are you?

BUSH: Hello. Nice to see you. How are you doing, Arianne?

ZUCKER: I'm doing very well, thank you. Are you ready to be a soap star?

TRUMP: We're ready. Let's go. Make me a soap star.

BUSH: How about a little hug for the Donald. He just got off the bus.

ZUCKER: Would you like a little hug, darling?

TRUMP: OK. Absolutely. Melania said this was OK.

BUSH: How about a little hug for the Bushy? I just got off the bush. Here we go. Excellent. Well, you've got a nice co-star here.

ZUCKER: Yes. Absolutely.

TRUMP: Good. After you.


LEMON: All right. So let's discuss all of this now. Here to discuss, CNN's Brian Stelter is here, Rebecca Berg of RealClearPolitics, Republican strategist Kevin Madden, David Swerdlick of the "Washington Post," CNN's Dana Bash and Gloria Borger.

So here we are at midnight. Still waiting. We got word that it is coming out. Dana, what do we know about this video statement that Trump has apparently made?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Last that I heard more than an hour ago was a taped statement is coming soon. And that's it. That's all I heard and that's all we've heard since. And it was abundantly clear that it was being made by the Trump campaign of Donald Trump. We thought it was going to come out sooner by social media and it hasn't yet. So given the chaos and the crisis mode that the campaign is in right now, who knows why we haven't seen it? Maybe they're trying to edit it nicely or maybe there are disagreements about what he said or should say or should have said. And --

LEMON: Maybe it won't come out?

BASH: It's -- who knows?

LEMON: Yes. OK. Brian, so, the reporter who released this, Fahrenthold.


LEMON: He said -- explain the story.

STELTER: Sure. At 1:29 -- I just checked with David to get this right. At 1:29 p.m. today, actually yesterday now, it's now Saturday morning, David Fahrenthold of the "Washington Post" asked the Trump campaign for comment. He sent them a transcript of what was in this video. Then he actually sent them the video because the campaign aides wanted to see it for themselves. At 4:00 p.m. he published a story and we saw that half-hearted apology from Trump saying he apologizes if anyone was offended by what he said on this videotape.

I think it's worth pointing out, now it's been about 12 hours, at least 11 hours since the "Washington Post" had reached out for comment. How long do you have to wait for someone to say sorry before you start to wonder the sincerity of any apology?


STELTER: Just to take viewers behind the scenes, Dana, all of us are texting, e-mailing Trump aides asking for an update on this video, and we're not getting any replies right now.

LEMON: Yes. I was just going to ask you, the panel back up here. Can we put the panel up? Who's reached out to the campaign, who has heard back, and if so, what did you hear?

BASH: I think the better question is, who hasn't reached out?


LEMON: And no one has heard anything?


BASH: Crickets.

BERG: Yes.

LEMON: Kevin, so, did you say earlier that they thought that they wouldn't have to respond to this and that, you know, people would have to say OK, look, you've got to do something?

KEVIN MADDEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I assume that inside the campaign where you always have conflict there are some that don't -- that didn't think initially that they needed to respond very quickly or with a larger degree of force, which is, you know, the principal's time, the candidate's time is always very valuable in campaign, you want to make sure that you use it accordingly, and I expect that they thought the written statement would suffice. That was a huge miscalculation. And one of the big problems now is that, on campaign, particularly when you're 32 days away from election, every hour is precious and they have just wasted 12 hours.

And that 12 hours right now of an entire news cycle has been dominated by people who are, you know, going over every single minute of this tape, talking about the dire consequences as a result, and they are -- and of course the tape is playing over and over and over. There's nothing competing with it except some surrogates that are out there trying to rationalize this, and a written statement. It's a huge problem for them right now.

LEMON: Hey, Gloria, I do want you to respond but I have to say, when you sat and you listened to the interview that I did with Jason Chaffetz who said I can't do it.


LEMON: But what he said, and which I thought was interesting, do you think this is it? If they have that, then what else do you think -- stand by, the statement is here. Let's play it and then we'll talk.

BASH: There we go.


TRUMP: I've never said I'm a perfect person 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. Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong and I apologize.

I've traveled the country, talking about change for America, but my travels have also changed me. I've spent time with grieving mothers who've lost their children, laid off workers whose jobs have gone to other countries and people from all walks of life who just want a better future. I have gotten to know the great people of our country and I've been humbled by the faith they've placed in me. I pledge to be a better man tomorrow and will never ever let you down.

Let's be honest, we're living in the real world. This is nothing re than a distraction from the important issues we're facing today. We are losing our jobs. We're less safe than we were eight years ago and Washington is totally broken.

Hillary Clinton and her kind have run our country into the ground. I've said some foolish things but there's a big difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women, and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims.

We will discuss this more in the coming days. See you at the debate on Sunday.


LEMON: Donald Trump, a statement just released moments ago on his Facebook page. And there you saw it live right here on CNN.

So, again, my panel is back. Gloria, you had the floor before. He said, I said those things, I'm not a perfect person, but I've changed. This is decade ago. I have changed. And I've traveled around the world -- around the country and I've seen that people want a better future. I pledge to be a better man.

He says that this is a distraction from the real issues and said, I've said some foolish things, and I apologize. He said, but Bill Clinton, bringing up Bill Clinton again, has abused women. Hillary Clinton has shamed them.

So what do you make of the statement?

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think it went further than his first statement went because it contained an apology but he also didn't address the issue of what was contained in the tape which was, you know, him being predatory towards women.

[00:10:10] And -- and then turned it again to Bill Clinton as he did in his original statement and called it nothing more than a distraction.

It is something more than a distraction. It's something quite disturbing. And so while this went a little further, he still turned it around to talk about Bill and Hillary Clinton again as if this tape were about them and not about him.

LEMON: OK. I want to go around and get everyone's response. David Swerdlick?

DAVID SWERDLICK, ASSISTANT EDITOR, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, Don, the other thing -- I agree with Gloria. The other thing -- one thing he said flies in the face of what we know from following this campaign. He said people who know me know that this isn't me. This incident isn't like me and yet we -- people who have been following this campaign do know that this is in line with other things he said.

Last year he attacked Megyn Kelly saying she had blood coming out of her wherever and then when people called him out for referring to her anatomy, he brushed it off and said, no, no, that's not what he's I'm talking about. The media is jumping to conclusion. It doesn't square this --

LEMON: Every time I hear that I cringe because that happened on this show.


STELTER: That's right.

LEMON: And I just remember leaving the studio that evening thinking that the interview that Donald Trump had given me was going to be the end of his campaign. And as, you know, cringing at the statement and then saying, oh, my gosh, Donald Trump's campaign was torpedoed on my show. And --


STELTER: A reminder for tonight, isn't it? It's a reminder that sometimes there are overreactions from the media. This was a defiant Donald Trump in this statement. The video looked awkward, the lighting was terrible. He should have been interviewed by someone who's taking the video.

LEMON: Sounded like he was reading it.

STELTER: It definitely seemed awkward but my headline, he's going to the debate, he is not backing down. He is -- this is the Donald Trump his supporters love. That he's defiant and that he's going to see Hillary Clinton in 45 hours.

LEMON: David Swerdlick, finish your statement.

SWERDLICK: No. I -- no, I think that was the main thing. To Brian's point about Donald Trump being defiant. You know, my colleague Robert O'Hara reported on this back in June for the "Post" talking about how Trump was mentored by Roy Cohn who was one of the McCarthy era lawyers, and one of the lessons and the takeaways that folks in that -- in Trump's formative, you know, professional years sort of gave him was this idea of never backing down, never apologizing. In this statement he did say he apologized but it was clear, as Brian said, that he's not going to back down, he's going to press forward.

LEMON: Rebecca Berg, what's your thought -- what are your thoughts on the statement?

BERG: Well, Don, I'd like to just highlight how unusual this moment is in the big picture of this campaign. Donald Trump has not once during this campaign that I can remember apologized for any of the many controversial statements he has made. Tonight he did. And so whether the American people and whether voters are going to accept that apology, that is an open question and we'll see in the days and weeks to come what the answer to that is, but I think tonight it is incredible that Donald Trump has taken this step, admitted that he was wrong, said that he will be better in the future.

And I think it really underlines how important he recognizes and his campaign recognizes that this controversy is and will be for them. They see that this is very damaging and they have responded tonight.

LEMON: I'm interested to know what Kevin thinks as a strategist. What you thought of the tape and, you know, what went into this.

MADDEN: That took 10 -- that took 10 hours? You could have done that on an iPhone. That's my first reaction. You know, I think to Rebecca's point, look, apologies are only as good as their sincerity and that was a very insincere way to offer an apology. So I don't think that -- you know, it was clearly forced, he was clearly reading. He's -- I think Brian Stelter actually makes a good point that defiance is the headline here. And I think that's -- they're trying to send a signal to their most core supporters to rally them behind Donald Trump because they figure during his worst moments that's always been the secret to his success. So that's --

STELTER: The headline is Hillary is worse, Bill is worse, right?

MADDEN: Right. Right.

STELTER: That's the takeaway for his supporters.

MADDEN: And that has essentially been his core appeal to Republican voters as well as some swing voters out there which is at least I'm not Hillary. But, you know, this is -- this was not an effective strategy. This is not going to end this for him. I don't think it did what it needed to do.

LEMON: Dana Bash. BASH: And -- OK. So the campaign officials and advisers who I was

talking to, they know and of course they know that nothing that he was going to say in any form was going to end this today, or put it to bed, which is -- this is not going to happen for lots of reasons. The biggest of which, of course, is that there is a debate coming up in two days.

But I think, Kevin, your point about this took 12 hours. It wasn't because they wanted some flashy, fancy production value. I think what took 12 hours was getting the candidate to say those words, crafting the words that he -- would agree to deliver.

[00:15:08] It was a lot of people around him hovered around, trying to find the right balance between what he needed to do and what he wanted to do. And while that was happening, our Deirdre Walsh, our House producer, sent a note about yet another House Republican Representative Mike Kauffman of Colorado saying that he wants Donald Trump to step aside. So it's -- the bleeding must stop.

MADDEN: And that's the question, Dana, whether or not does that video send the message to all those folks right now who are going to have to be -- have their endorsement tested. Is it enough for them to hold them right now?

BORGER: Right. I agree.

MADDEN: I worry that it's not.

BORGER: Right.

LEMON: It's interesting, Gloria, I want to play it again, and I want you to think about this while we play it. And I'll come out to you, Gloria. He says this was a decade ago, and he mentions Bill Clinton. That was two decades ago. So, you know, what is what? Let's play and then we'll discuss. Here's Donald Trump's respond to the tape that came out today.


TRUMP: I've never said I'm a perfect person 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. Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong and I apologize.

I've traveled the country, talking about change for America, but my travels have also changed me. I've spent time with grieving mothers who've lost their children, laid off workers whose jobs have gone to other countries and people from all walks of life who just want a better future. I have gotten to know the great people of our country and I've been humbled by the faith they've placed in me. I pledge to be a better man tomorrow and will never ever let you down.

Let's be honest, we're living in the real world. This is nothing re than a distraction from the important issues we're facing today. We are losing our jobs. We're less safe than we were eight years ago and Washington is totally broken.

Hillary Clinton and her kind have run our country into the ground. I've said some foolish things but there's a big difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women, and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims.

We will discuss this more in the coming days. See you at the debate on Sunday.


LEMON: Yes, so he said see you at the debate on Sunday. We're going to discuss this more on the coming days.

Look, Gloria, again, you know, it -- quite honestly it sounds like he's reading.


LEMON: And again he mentions, he said, this was decade ago, so it's excusable in some way, you know, but then Bill Clinton was two decades ago but not excusable.

BORGER: Yes. Look, there are a couple of things that strike me as I'm looking at the transcript here and listening to it again. First of all, he says, "Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong and I apologize."

The problem that he's got as a candidate is that these words confirm an existing narrative about him, that we heard in the video, which was the narrative of Alicia Machado, the narrative of, you know, calling women pigs, et cetera, et cetera, so people who know him have heard terrible descriptions of women from him. So he's got a problem there.

The Bill Clinton front, he calls Bill Clinton someone who has abused women and seems to me to be trying to make a distinction between what he says are his words and Bill Clinton's actions. And I would argue in watching that tape and listening to that tape, that it was predatory behavior that he was talking about, his own predatory behavior, which he seems to be saying was not. That these were just words, as he said in his initial statement because he called it sort of locker room banter.

And again, as we've been talking about all evening, people hear these words in different ways. What's the difference between banter and women who hear this and hear predatory behavior being described? And so I think if he's going to start comparing himself to Bill Clinton and then Hillary Clinton, whom he says shamed his victims, he may be going down a really bad rabbit hole that he shouldn't go down and that Republicans, more to the point -- and Kevin can talk about this, Republicans don't want him to go there because they don't want to be in a position of saying that Donald Trump is not as bad as Bill Clinton was. I mean, that's not a winning argument for Republicans to be having at this point. [00:20:05] STELTER: I think the problem is that Donald Trump on that

audio tape from 2005 sounds more like the real Donald Trump that we've all come to know in our homes.

BORGER: Exactly. That's my point. And --

STELTER: For the last year versus this videotape tonight.

BORGER: Right.

BERG: One Democratic strategist actually e-mailed me just now, calling this -- likening this video to a hostage video.

BASH: Sure.

BERG: So I think we're going to be hearing a lot more of that from the Democratic side.

LEMON: But it is -- Kevin, as you pointed out, you said that, you know, you can tell when someone is apologizing. You can see the authenticity. This did not seem authentic to you, that he was engaged in this, and as Rebecca said, a hostage video.

MADDEN: Right. And that will be the test for many of his core supporters. And I think many of them may find it sincere. I think there are many Republicans that do believe in a redemption story and he did ask for their forgiveness and that he would never let them down.

But again, I think it's -- the bigger problem that he has right now is that there are a core group of voters, Republican voters that were already conscientious objectors with Donald Trump. They did not want to support him but they're supporting him because he -- they thought well, I'm going to support him because I don't want to support Hillary Clinton. We saw that -- that was emblematic in Jason Chaffetz's remarks earlier.

If he loses a -- even a small percentage of those voters, it makes it very difficult for him to win on Election Day.


MADDEN: And so that where the charge he's going to have for the next 32 days. If he's going to survive this, it's going to be getting those folks back and trying to solidify their support. I think it's going to be an enormous challenge right now.

LEMON: Dana Bash, see you at debate on Sunday were -- those were his last words. You have co-moderated the debate. I've co-moderated a debate. Man, I wish that were doing this one. So take us forward to this event. Our colleague Anderson Cooper is. Take us forward to the debate. What happens with this? How does this play?

BASH: You know what? Must-see TV, tune in to CNN on Sunday night to get the answer to that question. Who knows? I mean, what we do know is that it is going to be a blockbuster event. You know, Hillary Clinton has -- you know, has it on a silver platter right now. There were some Democrats today kind of tweeting publicly saying that she needs to not overplay her hand right now because she immediately came out and denounced what he did which is understandable but, you know, this is one of those moments where perhaps she needs to step back at this point. On the debate stage it's a whole different.

STELTER: I think --

BASH: And she was so tactical and strategic in the way she drew him out on issues like this, which of course the ultimate was about women and his words about women. The question is whether she is going to potentially draw him out about what he has been saying about Bill Clinton. I know that sounds counterintuitive but it actually is something that a lot of Democrats who I'm talking to say it could benefit Hillary Clinton if he does go down the road of Bill Clinton.

STELTER: Trump gave us a preview.


STELTER: I just grabbed on his transcript, because right here at the end he talks about Bill Clinton abusing women and then says, we will discuss this more in the coming days.

BORGER: Right.

STELTER: He is ready to go the Roger Stone route. He is ready to go the Roger Ailes route. He on that debate stage, sound like from this statement, that he wants to talk about Bill Clinton on Sunday.

MADDEN: Here's the problem with that, though, Brian. There's a big problem with that. The format that we're having on Sunday, which is the town hall format, is a much more intimate setting, it's a much more sedate setting. That's a really difficult format to try to draw out your -- an attack on your opponent when you're surrounded by a bunch of swing voters. And swing voters right now are not -- you know, I think it's harder to make the argument that people are undecided about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump right now based on an issue like that.

LEMON: Just -- go ahead, Gloria.

BORGER: Well, Hillary Clinton is also woman. And you know, it's harder when you're talking about this video and your attitude towards women and your own behavior towards women and then you start attacking Hillary Clinton, you better have it pretty well ordered because if --

MADDEN: Particularly if you're going to do it right in front of voters who have technically not yet made up their mind.

BORGER: Exactly. And if I were Hillary Clinton I'd just kind of sit back and let him attack and see how that turns out.

LEMON: That's what I was -- David Swerdlick, because you said that should be the strategy from the Clinton campaign all along, not to overplay their hands here. SWERDLICK: Yes. I mean, even before the -- this tape came out,

right? Donald Trump had more ground to make up in the second debate. And there's no amount of cramming or preparing or changing his style that he can make up for all the years of policy knowledge that Hillary Clinton has ahead of him. She goes deep on all the policy issues, he doesn't. So he was going to have to switch his style up anyway, Don. Now that this issue was on the table, he has more ground to cover and she has less ground to cover.

So to Gloria's point, she can really hang back and pick her spots, if that's the strategy that she chooses to employ, and like Kevin, it's going to be harder for anybody to make any moves because they're going to be answering questions directly from voters.

[00:25:10] And so if Trump wants to get into this argument about Clinton's actions versus his statements, he's going to have to make some chess moves that frankly I don't know if he has the debating chops to make.

LEMON: Do you think that he can -- listen, that is a lot of ground to have to cover. To have to deal with someone who is so knowledgeable about policy. I mean, you must admit Hillary Clintons is extremely knowledgeable.

STELTER: Maybe we can talk about some of it on Sunday and not just the personal lives.

LEMON: Yes. And then -- then he has to deal with how badly he did last time, he's got to make up for that, and now he has to deal with this as well. Is Trump that good? Can he do that, Kevin Madden?

MADDEN: Look, I think he is -- I think he's severely challenged in the debate format. Particularly given that he hasn't had one-on-one debate performance -- experience where he's going head-to-head with just one other candidate. He flourished when it was 15, 16 folks up there, and he could let them fight amongst each other and then come through with big, bold rhetoric that would always -- would be itemized the next day for voters to see over and over in these YouTube moments.


MADDEN: So I think -- and the other thing is he hasn't prepared. The town hall format, when I was working for Governor Romney we actually built a replica set so that we could practice the -- just being on the set and the dynamic of interacting with voters, and having your opponent standing right there next to you and walking in a more free way. That is something he hasn't done and to have to handle all of that, to David's point, all at once, it -- he hasn't shown that he has the chops.

LEMON: Can I throw something out there? And it's weird that I want to throw it out because my producers telling me, I should go to break but I want to ask because I'm getting e-mails from people who are telling me, and this is -- again this is not confirmed or whatever. But we can expect a Paul Ryan un-endorsement soon because this is just beyond. What do you think the possibility of that is? Anyone on the panel.

BASH: It certainly is possible. I think a lot of it depends on how the next couple of days play out and how the pressure stays on him or not.


BASH: The one upside on the debate prep which I think -- his performance will help answer that is that he -- he's got to understand now that the pressure is on. The fact that he actually was forced to apologize and maybe he will listen to Chris Christie and Reince Priebus and Jeff Sessions and others who are going to be in the room with him over the next 36 hours hunkering down and prepping. Maybe he'll be more receptive.

LEMON: I've got to run. Final last words, anyone? Anyone? Bueller? No?


STELTER: Forty-four hours. Debate night in America.

BASH: Nine times.

LEMON: Right. Thank you. I appreciate you hanging with us through this -- and you know, the late hour. Thank you. Have a great weekend. I'll see you -- see you soon.

Very interesting. What do you say? We'll discuss, we'll be back.


[00:32:24] LEMON: Our breaking news, Donald Trump releases a new statement tonight about the revelation of his vulgar comments about women. You could call it a defiant apology. Listen.


TRUMP: I've never said I'm a perfect person 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. Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong and I apologize.

I've said some foolish things but there is a big difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims.

We will discuss this more in the coming days. See you at the debate on Sunday.


LEMON: But we're going to discuss this right now. So here to discuss is Trump supporter, Andre Bauer, Republican strategist Tara Setmayer, Trump supporter Scottie Nell Hughes, Bob Beckel, columnist for "The Hill," and CNN political commentator Ana Navarro.

Ana, what do you think?

ANA NAVARRO, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: The laughable part about that video is when he says anybody who knows me knows these words don't reflect me at all. We have seen for the last year that those words are exactly what reflect him.

And I just have one question for my GOP brethren, for GOP leadership. We have seen this man mock a disabled person. We've seen him call Mexicans rapists. We've seen him say horrible things about Rosie O'Donnell, about Miss Universe, about Megyn Kelly, about Carly Fiorina. We have seen him pick a fight for over a week with a Gold Star family.

What else do they need to see? Today we saw him boasting, laughing about grabbing a woman's pussy. What else do we need to see to disown him, disavow him? Ask him to resign? Ask him to step down? He is dragging the Republican Party down and everybody is going to have to answer the question, what did you do when you were faced with undisputable evidence that this man was a misogynist? Did you step away? Or did you try to make an excuse?


NAVARRO: And that's the question that leadership needs to answer tonight.

LEMON: Andre, what do you think?

ANDRE BAUER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, he apologized. Pledged to be a better man. All of us say and do things we wished we wouldn't have. But we're down to 34 days left before an election and the choice is still clear. You've got Donald Trump who said some things that quite frankly are offensive. No question.

[00:35:03] But you've got Hillary Clinton who's done things that more than just offending people. She defended a rapist that was clearly guilty and laughed about it, and said the 12-year-old wasn't a big deal. We made it, we defamed her. We've had him pass a polygraph.

LEMON: You know, Andre, I have to stop you. We talked about that here on CNN and there were -- you know, my colleagues have done stories on that. I know you're bring up these old things but my initial question is, quite honestly, just to be respectful, what do you think of the statement to Donald Trump as a supporter, someone who's been on this show and others for months and months and months, when you hear him? Does he sound sincere? Do the words ring true to you? Would you have liked him to say something else rather than deflecting to the other person?

BAUER: Well, absolutely. I mean, you know, all of us would do things differently. I think he made an effort that I saw a different Donald Trump tonight than I've seen in the past. He apologized, he -- I think he made an effort to try to say look, we've all messed up. I mean, these are horrific statements, there's no question, but he did apologize, and hopefully will engage in who can make this country better. And when I endorsed him, Don --

LEMON: And that was enough for you tonight?

BAUER: Yes. When I endorsed him, I realized he came with warts. I mean, he wasn't a career politician, he was a businessman. But I want to see someone who can go into Washington and turn it upside down and clearly, I think he would do a better job of doing that than Hillary Clinton.

TARA SETMAYER, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: But based on what? You know, the argument has been that he -- he's trying to say that he has better judgment, and that he's going to change all these things unilaterally, by the way, which we all know he can't do. But his judgment, his character, his integrity had shown otherwise.

What makes people believe that he's capable of actually bring any kind of change that's worthy of the office of the presidency in Washington, D.C.? That wasn't an apology. That was like Peewee Herman defense. I know you are, but what am I? He immediately pivoted to Bill Clinton and what -- and his history and what he's done.

LEMON: What I did was bad, Bill Clinton is worse.

SETMAYER: Right. What I did was bad, but what they did was worse. That doesn't make it better. You know, we sat there -- and anyone who criticized Bill Clinton in the '90s for what he did, which was despicable behavior and then turned around and makes excuses for what Donald Trump has said and done is a hypocrite. And every single -- my Republican brethren, I'm with Ana on this, I implore them to rescind their support. And it's beginning to happen.

You have Barbara Comstock, a Republican woman. She's just rescinded her endorsement of Donald Trump tonight. You have congressman from Colorado who's also said the same thing. Senator Kirk --

LEMON: And you have Jason Chaffetz, and on and on.

SETMAYER: And Jason Chaffetz. So Paul Ryan needs to step up. He wants to be the leader of this party, speaker of the House. It's his moral obligation. He's a father. He has a daughter. He can't stand there and let this go.

LEMON: I want to get --

SETMAYER: And stand next and support this man.

LEMON: I want to get other people in on this. Scottie, what do you think?

SCOTTIE NELL HUGHES, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Well, moral obligation. If there's any moral obligation it's to make sure that Hillary Clinton does not get in the White House as a Republican right now.

LEMON: So again, the same thing that I asked Andre. To the words that he said, is that enough for you? Are you OK with it? Would you have liked it -- have heard him say something else? Is this going to be enough for other voters? Rather than Hillary Clinton, let's talk about your candidate. What he just said and stick to message. What do you think?

HUGHES: AKA, don't pivot. I think tonight he showed that the gloves are going to come off. Unlike, and I am going to say her name, Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump doe not minions in the media like at the "New York Times" and the "Washington Post" to not only bring up the story but continue to defend it over and over and replay it.

LEMON: But, Scottie, you're pivoting.

HUGHES: So he has to bring it up.

LEMON: That's a pivot. That's a pivot.

HUGHES: But I want to say --

LEMON: OK, Scottie, let me ask you one direct question. OK. You sat here and watched. You've been on all evening. You have been on defending, you know, Donald Trump and representing him on this show and many others here on CNN.

As a woman you heard the words that he said on that bus and getting off with Billy Bush in 2005. Then you just heard him, I assume it's at Trump Tower, in front of a camera, apologizing, saying that, you know, he's not a perfect man. How do you feel about that?

HUGHES: Well, because I'm going to judge -- am I supposed to sit here and judge his words? I judge actions. I'm not electing Donald Trump --


LEMON: Yes. You're -- Yes, you're supposed to judge his words and his actions on the bus. Those were actions and words. He's saying --

HUGHES: Well, he didn't grope the woman. He did not say -- he did not walk up and do those things to her. He did not do that. It was words, the locker room talk that unfortunately exists in many male groups today.

SETMAYER: This is absurd.

HUGHES: So here's the thing about what we heard about tonight. He did apologize. And if we want to sit here and do the structure of how sincere he was, I mean, are we going to hold that to Hillary Clinton, to the things when she apologize? Wait a minute, she never really apologized for insulting --


LEMON: Yes. If she was -- if Hillary Clinton was on this show and her surrogates were on this show and she has done something that was controversial, yes, we would hold her to the same standard.

HUGHES: But she did do things controversial and we haven't held her to the standard --


LEMON: It didn't happen -- it didn't happen today, Scottie.

SETMAYER: Can I just say something, Don?

LEMON: I need to get Bob in.


LEMON: Bob, go ahead.

[00:40:01] BECKEL: Can I just cut through? I have one thing to say and one thing only. And that is that this race is over. Tomorrow morning the money will dry up. The Republicans will start to hide. Trump has no place to go. This race effectively as of tonight is no longer a presidential race. I'll -- I mean, everything I know about presidential politics, and I've been through five of them. I've never seen one like this. This race is over. You might as well accept it. And the question now is, how do you minimize damage? And the only way you can do that, it seems to me, is to try to grab hold of some old conservative values and do what Mondale did in '84 which is to try to save people down-ballot. But as far as Donald Trump is concerned, it will never, ever, ever happen.

LEMON: OK. I quickly --

SETMAYER: Just really quickly. Actually to Bob's point, that's already begun. Major donors that were donors to Romney campaign have already on record tonight said that they are withdrawing their financial support and talking about trying to replace Donald Trump. But just really quickly to the -- this absurd locker room banter talk.

You know, I mean, as a mother, Scottie, I don't understand how you continue to justify this. I challenged you on this issue months ago when Donald Trump, when I brought up the fact that he was a philanderer and bragged about it.

LEMON: She's supporting her candidate.

SETMAYER: I get it, but you're a mother first. You have a daughter. I don't know if --

HUGHES: Yes, exactly. I do have daughters.

SETMAYER: And how could you sit there and justify this to your daughter when you have the person you want to put in the White House talking about grabbing private parts of women?

LEMON: OK. All right.

SETMAYER: This is insanity. And locker room talk --


HUGHES: And how can you justify Hillary Clinton being in the White House who puts bodies, who put people in body bags.

SETMAYER: This is sexual predatory.

HUGHES: And lies to the mother and makes fun of people.

SETMAYER: Yes, and she's despicable, too.

HUGHES: That's why I'm doing this. Because she lies to mothers.

SETMAYER: The Republican Party --

HUGHES: I put Donald Trump above her.

SETMAYER: The Republican Party has put forth a candidate that was --


NAVARRO: You know, I really can't stand this.

BECKEL: The question is, have you no decency? Have any of you any decency?

SETMAYER: Exactly. Where is the integrity? It's despicable.

HUGHES: Yes, where is the integrity in supporting Hillary Clinton, Tara?

SETMAYER: I'm not supporting Hillary Clinton.

HUGHES: Yes, you are.

SETMAYER: This is bigger than Hillary Clinton.

HUGHES: No, it's not right now.

SETMAYER: It's about the culture in our country. It's about our country.

BECKEL: You know, you will rue the day your daughter sees this film.

LEMON: OK. Everybody, one at a time. Ana --

NAVARRO: Can I just say that --

LEMON: Ana, quickly. I have to get to break in. I'll bring you guys back. But go ahead.

NAVARRO: All this shaming of each other on TV.


NAVARRO: Really, let's not do this, guys. None of us are on the ballot. The people that are on the ballot are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and we are judging Donald Trump.

BECKEL: Ana, come on. (CROSSTALK)

NAVARRO: Listen, if you choose to believe him, if you choose to make excuses for him, that's your choice. That's your choice.

SETMAYER: And then be responsible for it.

NAVARRO: My choice is --

BECKEL: But, Ana, don't sit there and try to say there's a balance.

NAVARRO: This is a man who has consistently disgusted me from the first day of this campaign and I think that every single Republican is going to have to answer the question, what did you do the day you saw the tape of this man boasting about grabbing a woman's pussy?

BECKEL: Exactly.

LEMON: OK. All right.

SETMAYER: That's right.

HUGHES: Will you please stop saying that word? My daughter is listening.


SETMAYER: Your candidate should stop saying it.

NAVARRO: You know what? You know what, Scottie, don't tell me you're offended when I say pussy but you're not offended when Donald Trump says it.

SETMAYER: Exactly.

HUGHES: I am offended by you saying that word over and over on this --

NAVARRO: I am not running for president, he is.

HUGHES: Yes. And I said I was offended by Donald Trump.

NAVARRO: So then don't act outraged and offended when I say the word but you're not offended by the man who you are supporting is saying. That is just absurd.

HUGHES: I said I was offended by him saying that, too.

LEMON: We'll be right back.


[00:46:48] LEMON: Back now with our breaking news. Donald Trump releases a video statement apologizing for his vulgar remarks about women but is that enough?

Let's discuss now Richard Levick. He's the founder and CEO of Levick Strategic Communications firm.

Thank you for joining us at this late hour. You saw the tape here, Richard. This is clearly Donald Trump's biggest crisis to date. First the paper apology and then the video statement. What's your reaction?

RICHARD LEVICK, FOUNDER AND CEO, LEVICK: Never has so little taken so long. I don't think the apology really accomplishes much at all. In was insincere, it doesn't pass the same test we would provide to our child and that is, do we feel that the apology is insincere, saying that Johnny hit you first doesn't work very well.

LEMON: What advice do you give clients when crafting apologies?

LEVICK: You know, for me the first question here as a crisis professional is before you even get to the apology is, who is your client? And in this case, your client is not going to end up being Donald Trump. That's going to end up being the sacrifice. What we're seeing tonight is historic and we're seeing that the GOP, that members of the party are pulling away, they are un-endorsing Donald Trump. Our client in this case would be the GOP. It wouldn't be the presumptive CEO.

LEMON: OK. Richard Levick, thank you again. I apologize because of the breaking news our time is short. Thank you so much. We really appreciate you joining us.

Let's get back now to our panel. Andre Bauer, Tara Setmayer, Scottie Nell Hughes, and also Bob Beckel.

OK. So here we are again and discussing these -- you know, these issues that are so controversial and they make people -- you know, they fired up everyone but again, as I've said so long, all along here, this is what the voters are dealing with. So now we're at this very critical point. There are people who are saying and this is for you -- I'll give this to you, Scottie, that Mike Pence, they wish Mike Pence was at the top of the ticket. Some people were saying they wish Donald Trump would step down.

Mike Pence has been Donald Trump's biggest supporter for the last couple of months. So then where were these people months ago, you know, who are now saying they wished it was Mike Pence and why would that make a difference after he has supported Donald Trump for so long?

HUGHES: No. And I think Mike Pence does a good job for the ticket, but like he said the other day during his debate I stand solidly beside Donald Trump. In this case, yes, Mike Pence would -- a lot of people would feel better with him at the top of the ticket in this situation. But remember, Mike Pence was Mr. Trump's first major choice and he made a good choice and unlike, I think, we've seen in past administrations I think Donald Trump and Mike Pence will have a very good communication, they will not just be in two separate offices in the White House. They'll actually work together on a lot of these things because that's why Mr. Trump brought Mike Pence -- Governor Pence along with because he did know Washington, D.C. and he did know conservative values. So remember, I think they're more of a team than necessarily what you would look at Hillary Clinton and Kaine with.

LEMON: OK. So back to you, Scottie. So you and Ana got into it, you said, don't say the word, you're offended by the word. And by the way, Ana has been up for a long time. She -- Ana had to go. So why are you offended when Ana says it but you're not offended so much when Donald Trump says it?

HUGHES: Well, I did say that I was offended by it, Don. I said that I did not like that verbiage. I didn't like that word.

[00:50:03] And on CNN when Donald Trump has said it, when they've run that tape it's been bleeped out. Right now we are running a live show.

LEMON: No. We haven't -- we have not bleeped that at all. We have -- the F word, the F bomb we did.

HUGHES: It is bleeped out on a couple of them, I'll be honest with you. And when Ana said it, the first time --

LEMON: It has not bleeped all night tonight on CNN. That's the guidance. Don't bleep it.

HUGHES: Well, when she said it --


HUGHES: When she said it and she said it once and she said it twice, and that's any of those words and there's a lot of words sometimes that are said that I just don't approve of. And I think right now to our audience it doesn't serve any good. You can say -- there's other words you can say to substitute for it but I think out of respect for our audience --

LEMON: Hold on, Tara. Hang on, Tara. This is me and Scottie talking. Scottie, let's talk.

All right. So I don't like it. I don't like it when people are (INAUDIBLE) attacks. When people -- I don't like to attack people but I do like to hold them, you know, to answer the question.

So let's talk here. It's tough to defend this as a woman, right, or to at least try to have some nuance between not defending it, defending it, and supporting your candidate. What are you feeling right now?

HUGHES: Well, I'm feeling that, you know, a little bit of, honestly, kind of a double standard because we accept the -- you know, we expect the American people, the American voter to accept the apology when Hillary Clinton apologized for her e-mails, when she apologized for her server, when she apologized for calling people deplorable, and people kind of said, OK, she apologized, she went on. Tonight we saw Mr. Trump come out and he actually apologized. Now you can judge the sincerity of it but he -- he realized that he was wrong. He admitted to it. And so can we accept that? LEMON: But I'm asking you, personally, as a woman, about someone who

makes statements that -- those are -- those statements are misogynistic. I'm asking you as a woman, how do you feel about that and as someone who is supporting the candidate -- and I'm not asking you about Hillary Clinton. I'm asking about you and -- because I see you and I know you. I know this is difficult for you. And I know you have to, you know, sit here on television and hold a certain standard, so to speak, but you're human and I know that, Scottie.

HUGHES: And I wish those comments didn't exist in our society. I wish a lot of comments didn't exist in our society and the people saying it. I hate that the top candidate right now has this on record 11 years ago or that he even said these comments. But I also know that what happens in the White House and what happens with the presidency, words, they do matter but more importantly actions matter to me.


HUGHES: And I'm not supporting him for that reason. Like I said, she scares the fire out of me, to be honest, and always has because we just -- her track record of action is not anything that I think is good for our country.

LEMON: All right. Thank you for doing that, Scottie. I appreciate it.

All right. Bob Beckel, what do you -- what are your thoughts here? This is tough for -- this is tough for -- I ask these questions because I know it has to be tough for the surrogates because they have to -- they've supported this guy for a long time. But you hear now establishment Republicans and people who have supported Donald Trump for a long time come out like Congressman Chaffetz and say, I just can't do it anymore. So I just want to know from my colleagues who have been supporting him all along how they feel about it.

It's got to be tough for them, Bob, and you've been on the campaign. You've been a surrogate.

BECKEL: Well, I mean, let me take a shot of that. I have been through presidential campaigns where my candidates have been deserted by people of our party because they couldn't win. And it was understandable. I mean, they were fighting for their own survival. And in essence we let them go. And we put our resources where we thought it would be helpful to them.

I think right now you're -- we're very much on the vortex of one of the great American political parties in a tragic crisis of confidence, of identity, and I think Donald Trump will go down in history as probably the most single disruptive Republican to ever carry that name.

LEMON: Do you agree with that, Andre?

BAUER: No. I think he has brought folks out that quite frankly hadn't been involved in politics before and haven't been considered themselves Republicans. And so clearly he's stubbed his toe several times but he has also energized so many people that haven't engaged before. And he's brought -- if you look at his rallies when he's got 15,000 and 20,000 people coming out, these are people historically that didn't come out in the Republican Party.

LEMON: This doesn't matter to them.

BAUER: I'm sure it bothers a lot of people like it bothers me. But again, we're talking Supreme Court justices for the next four to eight years. We're talking about where the country goes, we're talking about $19.5 trillion debt, we're talking about where our men and women all around the world --

LEMON: Do you ever wish that he had been -- OK. I'm going to -- Tara, I'm going to let you get in. Let's play the apology and then we'll discuss more.


TRUMP: I've never said I'm a perfect person 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. Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong and I apologize.

[00:55:04] I've traveled the country, talking about change for America, but my travels have also changed me. I've spent time with grieving mothers who've lost their children, laid off workers whose jobs have gone to other countries and people from all walks of life who just want a better future. I have gotten to know the great people of our country and I've been humbled by the faith they've placed in me. I pledge to be a better man tomorrow and will never ever let you down.

Let's be honest, we're living in the real world. This is nothing re than a distraction from the important issues we're facing today. We are losing our jobs. We're less safe than we were eight years ago and Washington is totally broken.

Hillary Clinton and her kind have run our country into the ground. I've said some foolish things but there's a big difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women, and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims.

We will discuss this more in the coming days. See you at the debate on Sunday.


LEMON: OK. I was going to ask Tara a question. Tara, but I think, though, we're out of time. I'm sorry.

SETMAYER: That's OK. Really quick, though, if this is what he is going to talk about for the next couple of days, then this is over. I agree with Bob Beckel. This is not what women want. LEMON: Thank you all. I appreciate it. Have a good weekend. That's

it for us tonight. Thank you for watching. Our live coverage continues in a moment with Paula Newton at the CNN center in Atlanta and Michael Holmes in St. Augustine, Florida.