Dozens of prominent Republicans have rescinded their endorsements of Donald Trump in light of the audio released last week that features him talking about grabbing women “by the p***y.” What has gotten so many people fired up about this audio is not just the fact that Trump used an offensive word, but the fact that he is effectively describing sexually assaulting women.
Many people have called Trump out for his offensive language and the actions it describes, but there are still some who have remained by his side, including Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions.
In an interview with The Weekly Standard, Sessions said that doing what Trump described in his conversation with Billy Bush does not qualify as sexual assault.
“I don’t characterize that as sexual assault,” Sessions said. “I think that’s a stretch. I don’t know what he meant—”
At this point, the Weekly Standard interrupted Sessions, asking, “so if you grab a woman by the genitals, that’s not sexual assault?”
Sessions responded by saying, “I don’t know. It’s not clear that he—how that would occur.”
Sessions also defended Trump during an interview with CBS News, saying that “nobody’s character is perfect.” He then claimed that Hillary Clinton’s character is much more questionable than Trump’s.
Sessions is not alone in dismissing Trump’s actions. Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer, when asked if Trump’s actions would qualify as assault, gave an answer similar to Sessions’s. “I don’t know. I’m not a lawyer,” Spicer said.
Trump surrogate Sarah Huckabee brushed off the question as well, saying, “I think it’s kind of pointless to talk about hypotheticals,” and another Trump aide, Stephen Miller, called the conversation “bawdy locker room talk” and then claimed that Trump has never done any of the things that he spoke about.
Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, has also shrugged off the possibility that her candidate has sexually assaulted women. On an episode of “Fox and Friends,” Conway said, “This term sexual assault has been bandied about.” She also said that equating Trump’s comments with sexual assault was demeaning to victims.
Although there are still those who stand by Trump — mainly those whose jobs depend on him — it seems that a larger number have given up on him. After a difficult weekend that ended with Hillary Clinton beating him in the second presidential debate, Trump now sits 5.8 percentage points behind the Democratic nominee, who has an 83.6 percent chance of winning the presidency.
Watch Sen. Sessions try his hardest to defend Donald Trump in the video below, available via YouTube.
Featured image via Getty Images.