politics

"Grab 'em by the p***y": Donald Trump brags about groping women in vile leaked video.

At this point, we thought nothing else Donald Trump said could surprise us.

He has made it very clear that his respect for women and their autonomy is negligible, and the sheer volume of offensive comments he’s made in the past is simply staggering.

He called a Miss Universe contestant “Miss Piggy”. He referred to his own wife, Melania, as “a young and beautiful piece of ass”. He said breastfeeding was “disgusting”. He wrote that a female journalist had “the face of a dog”. He criticised fellow Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for being “unable to satisfy” her husband Bill, and went on to question her ability to “satisfy” the American public (because what else is a female President good for other than eye candy?).

And yet, when leaked footage of a 2005 conversation with Access Hollywood host Billy Bush revealed still more instances of rampant sexist garbage spewing forth from Trump’s laughing mouth, we were still taken aback.

Watch the leaked footage here.

In the clip obtained by The Washington Post, which was shot during an Access Hollywood episode on the Days of Our Lives set, Trump discusses his attempts to seduce a married woman. (It’s worth noting, too, that he was in the early months of his marriage to Melania at the time).

“I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married,” he told Bush.

Distracted by the figure of actress Arianne Zucker, Trump pauses to eat some TicTacs, because:

“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’re a star they let you do it,” he continued. “You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.”

Donald Trump with actress Arianne Zucker during the leaked discussion. Image via Washington Post/Access Hollywood.

Bush has since apologised, saying he felt "embarrassed and ashamed" by the footage.

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Early on Saturday morning, Trump responded in a statement to outrage, claiming it was just "locker room banter"

"[It was] a private conversation that took place many years ago," the statement read.

"Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — [I'm] not even close."

He proceeded to apologise if "anyone was offended" - but for the women of America, and the rest of the world, it won't be enough.

Clearly instructed by publicists that his apology hadn't cut it, Trump went on to release a video apology on his Twitter later on Saturday afternoon.

Feminist activist, actress and writer Lena Dunham has already criticised Trump's comments in a post on her Instagram, tapping into the mood of so many women today: What if this man really did become the President of the United States?

A photo posted by Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) on

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"What if we had a president who thought it was okay to "grab 'em by the pussy?" Dunham asks.

"What if that was really the person tasked with leading our nation? What if that attitude pervaded everything he did, his approach to policy relating to international relations and civil rights and medical care? What if every woman in America's heart broke, all at once, because her country proved her body and her agency were worthless to them? What if that happened next month?"

Although Dunham's criticism is accurate, she's probably preaching to the choir on her social media feed. The real test will be the reaction of Trump's republication supporters - and it seems like the tables might be turning on Trump in the party room, too.

Paul Ryan must now consider whether he wants to be politically aligned with Trump. Image via Getty. 

Trump was scheduled to appear alongside Speaker of the House and prominent Republican Paul Ryan on Saturday at a rally in Ryan's hometown. In a huge blow for Trump, Ryan has now declared the nominee will not be attending.

"I am sickened by what I heard today," Ryan said in a statement, according to the LA Times.

"Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified. 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.”

And with latest polling figures showing Trump trailing behind Clinton by just 4%, a loss for the Trump campaign right now would be a huge win for women.

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