Ryan 'sickened' by Trump's comments in video; McConnell calls remarks 'repugnant'

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Donald Trump hugs Arianne Zucker in a 2005 video obtained by the Washington Post. In the video, Trump makes lewd and graphic comments about women that have come under fire by fellow Republicans.

House Speaker Paul Ryan asked Donald Trump not to attend a campaign event with him Saturday in his home state of Wisconsin, according to two people familiar with the discussions, following the disclosure Friday of a 2005 video where the Republican presidential candidate makes lewd comments about women.

Ryan and Trump did not speak personally on Friday, one of them said.

Ryan said in statement late Friday that Trump "is no longer attending" the event - a festival in Ryan's Wisconsin congressional district.

He decried Trump's newly revealed comments in stark terms.

"I am sickened by what I heard today," Ryan said. "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."

In a short statement issued moments after Ryan's, Trump said his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, "will be representing me" at the Wisconsin event while he remained in New York to prepare for Sunday's town hall debate.

Trump's campaign did not respond to a request for comment on whose decision it was for him not to attend.

What remains to be seen is whether the new revelations, first disclosed by The Washington Post, will trigger a broader abandonment of Trump by GOP officeholders.

Republican lawmakers who were already skeptical of Trump were quick to condemn him, and some of that faction went further.

Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, who is running an uphill reelection race, called on Trump to drop out, and Utah Gov. Gary Hebert, who represents a state where Trump performed poorly in the GOP primary, said he would no longer vote for him.

But GOP congressional leaders who have endorsed Trump or said they would vote for them, while strongly condeming the newly disclosed remarks, stopped short of rescinding their support.

Many of them urged him to make a full public apology

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the comments are "repugnant, and unacceptable in any circumstance" and made clear Trump's brief statement would not suffice.

"As the father of three daughters, I strongly believe that Trump needs to apologize directly to women and girls everywhere, and take full responsibility for the utter lack of respect for women shown in his comments on that tape," he said late Friday.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., also called on Trump to issue a "full and unqualified apology."

The sheer vulgarity of Trump's remarks -- which included a discussion of the liberties he believed famous men could take with women -- made the video difficult for GOP leaders to ignore.

Trump dismissed the remarks as "locker room banter" and said he apologized "if anyone was offended."

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., the highest-ranking woman in House GOP leadership, who said Trump "owes it to our party and our country to treat everyone respectfully" when she endorsed him in May.

"It is never appropriate to condone unwanted sexual advances or violence against women," said McMorris Rodgers, the Republican Conference chairwoman. "Mr. Trump must realize that it has no place in public or private conversations today or in the past."

Two senators who have already kept their distance from Trump -- Kirk and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. - were more sharply critical. "DJT is a malignant clown - unprepared and unfit to be president of the United States," tweeted Kirk, who is seeking re-election in a heavily Democratic states and has already announced his intention to write in a presidential candidate rather than vote for Trump.

He later tweeted that Trump should drop out of the race.

Flake also tweeted his disapproval: "America deserves far better than @realDonaldTrump"

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., facing a tough re-election battle, issued a statement carefully distancing herself from Trump.

"His comments are totally inappropriate and offensive," Ayotte said.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., one of Trump's former rivals for the GOP nomination, also voiced his condemnation of Trump's 2005 remarks.

Democrats on Friday sought to heighten the pressure on Republican candidates to repudiate Trump entirely. Virtually every Democratic Senate candidate issued statements to that effect, noting that their opponents had stopped short of a total denunciation.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called it a "moment of truth for Republicans."

"It is time for every Republican elected official in this county to revoke their endorsements of Donald Trump and state that they will not vote for their party's nominee, who has been caught on tape bragging about routinely sexually assaulting women," he said. "There is no way to defend the indefensible. In the name of decency, Republicans should admit that this deviant -- this sociopath -- cannot be president."

Ryan has been compelled to speak out against Trump on several occasions in the past, including when he called for a "complete ban" on Muslim immigration and when he declined to renounce the support of white supremacist leader David Duke in a television interview.

After Trump secured the Republican nomination in March, Ryan delayed throwing his support behind him, seeking further assurances that he would be a "standard bearer that bears our standards."

Ryan later endorsed Trump, calling him preferable to Hillary Clinton and citing his ability to implement the Republican agenda forged by the House GOP.

The endorsement was sealed after a May closed-door meeting between Trump, Ryan and other House GOP leaders at Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington.

The press was not permitted to photograph the two men together, however. That moment was expected to come Saturday.

Also scheduled to appear at the "FallFest" event are the state's Republican governor, Scott Walker, and Sen. Ron Johnson, who is seeking re-election this year.

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.

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