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Trump 2005 Video Remarks About Women Wreaking Havoc; Defiant Trump Ignores Calls to Drop Out of Race; More Crude Trump Conversations Uncovered. Aired 8-9p ET

Aired October 08, 2016 - 20:00   ET


[20:00:00] WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Happening now, breaking news, completely chaos. In a show of defiance, Donald Trump greets supporters while the Republican party goes into meltdown over his stunningly vulgar and sexually aggressive remarks. As GOP lawmakers abandon their nominee, there are growing calls for him to drop out.

Not backing down, Trump says there is zero chance he'll quit the race, and even his video statement of regret shows a willingness to fight as he quickly turns to attack Hillary Clinton over her husband's sex scandals.

And even more audio. CNN uncovers more shocking comments from Donald Trump, crude and demeaning conversations about women, including his own daughter, that aired over a 17-year period on shock jock Howard Stern's radio show.

Welcome to this special edition of CNN NEWSROOM, America's choice 2016. I'm Wolf Blitzer, coming to you live tonight from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where tomorrow night, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will face off in their second debate.

But let's get to the breaking news right now, a defiant Donald Trump popped out of the Trump Tower today waving to cheering supporters while fellow Republicans are reeling from his lewd and sexually aggressive remarks which surfaced a day earlier.

There are growing calls for Trump to step down, and Senator John McCain leads a growing list of lawmakers who are abandoning their nominee. Trump's wife, Melania, calls his words unacceptable and offensive, and running mate Mike Pence says he, too, is offended, adding Trump will have the chance to show what's in his heart when he goes before the nation in tomorrow night's debate right here on CNN, 9 PM Eastern.

Sources say Hillary Clinton is holding her fire until the debate gets underway, and late last night, Trump did issue a statement of regret.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: 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.


BLITZER: But at the same time, Trump dismissed the controversy as a distraction, and his apology has done little to limit the damage from that tape. Listen once again to this shocking excerpt. We must warn you, it is quite graphic.


TRUMP: I've gotta 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're a star they let you do it, you can do anything.

BILLY BUSH, NBC HOST: Whatever you want.

TRUMP: Grab them by the pussy.

BUSH: You can do anything.


BLITZER: We begin with our national politics reporter, MJ Lee, outside Trump Tower in New York. Donald Trump has made a brief appearance there, drawing cheers. MJ, describe that scene for us.

MJ LEE, CNN NATIONAL POLITICS REPORTER: Well Wolf, this has certainly been a very tumultuous day for the Trump campaign, but maybe the most surprising development was when Donald Trump himself stepped outside of Trump Tower to greet his supporters.

The best comparison, Wolf, I can think of, was a rock star stepping out onto the stage to greet his fans at a rock concert. Dozens of supporters that were gathered outside breaking out into cheers and chants when he came outside.

Even on a day like today, when the campaign is in full crisis mode, Donald Trump showing that he is at heart still a TV celebrity and a showman. Now of course, as you mentioned, he was very defiant when he was asked whether he will leave the race, or whether he will stay in the race rather, he responded 100 percent.

Now even though Donald Trump did put on a happy face, no doubt about it that Donald Trump has had a very rough day today on the campaign, with a flood of Republicans rescinding their endorsement of Donald Trump, and even saying that he should leave the presidential race.

And maybe the most devastating statements came from those closest to him, both his running mate, Mike Pence, and his own wife, Melania Trump, putting out statements condemning his comments caught in this video, in the harshest terms possible.

Now just a little while ago, Wolf, we did see Rudy Giuliani, one of Donald Trump's top supporters, leaving Trump Tower, and he did take some questions. Here is what he had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should he stay in the race?

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Of course. He's going to win.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will he show up at the debate tomorrow?

GIULIANI: (Inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will he be at the debate tomorrow?

GIULIANI: Of course he's going to be at the debate tomorrow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there anything that could happen now that would convince you he should drop out?

GIULIANI: There is nothing that is going to cause his dropping out. That's a wishful thinking of the Clinton campaign, and those people who have opposed him for a long time. He's in the race to win, and he is going to (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you make of some fellow Republicans backing -- backing out from supporting him?

GIULIANI: They largely didn't support him in the first place, so it's not much of a surprise. If you look at it, they all were Republicans who were close to him and didn't support -- and didn't support him in the past. And this is basically the insiders against the outsiders anyway.

Donald Trump is the populous candidate. Most of the people that turned on him are members of the establishment. So I would see this as you want -- you want change in Washington, you vote for Donald Trump. You want to keep things the same, you vote for Hillary Clinton. (Inaudible).


LEE: So as you can see there, no signs of caving to the pressure from Donald Trump or his advisors, and a very dramatic day here at Trump Tower. Seems to be winding down. Wolf?

BLITZER: MJ Lee, over at Trump Tower in New York City, thank you. The GOP is in meltdown tonight as lawmakers rescind their endorsements of Donald Trump. Many Republicans are calling on their nominee to drop out of the race just 31 days before election day. Joining us now, our chief political correspondent, Dana Bash, and CNN political director David Chalian, and this has been an astonishing, Dana, 24 hours. How extensive is the fallout?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well let's by -- begin to answer that question just by giving some meat on the bone to some of what MJ was just talking about, the statements from -- starting with his wife, and then to his running mate. Starting with Melania, let me just read to you what she said.

"The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me. This does not represent the man I know. He has the heart and mind of a leader. I hope people will accept his apology as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world."

So that is an important statement given the context of this caught-on- tape moment, where he not only was married to her at the time, but also said she wouldn't mind, when he was being inappropriate with the woman on the set there.

And let's talk about his running mate, Mike Pence. He released this statement today. "As a husband and father, I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump in the 11-year-old video released yesterday. I do not condone his remarks, and cannot defend them. I am grateful that he has expressed remorse and apologized to the American people. We pray for his family, and look forward to the opportunity he has to show what is in his heart when he goes before the nation tomorrow night."

Now that is his public statement. In private, I am told that he got Donald Trump on the phone, and said to him I can't be your representative today on the campaign trail. He was supposed to go to Wisconsin to appear on Donald Trump's behalf, because Donald Trump was disinvited by the House Speaker at this annual unity event in Wisconsin.

And then Pence said to Trump, you know what, I can't do it, because only you can be your own voice right now. And so he pulled back. I mean the way I've described it is, you're on your own. I'm not -- I'm not touching this anymore.

He's doing a fundraiser today, but besides that, they are -- people around Mike Pence are trying to protect him as much as possible after he has put a lot on the line. Obviously he got an opportunity to be on the presidential ticket, put a lot on the line with conservatives, saying this guy is OK, especially in private to a lot of skeptics.

BLITZER: 24 hours ago, when this story broke, you went on the air, you were on my show, you said this was an extraordinary moment, and if anything, it's turned out to be really, really extraordinary.

BASH: Without a doubt.

DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: So what Dana was just saying, the assumption (ph) there of course is Mike Pence's sole job, sole job as running mate is to go out and represent the nominee. That's the actual description of the job, when you're a running mate on the campaign trail.

And so he refused to do his job, of what he was assigned to do, because this was a bridge too far. You earlier mentioned, when we started the show, well John McCain's statement. I just now want to say, you have the three last Republican presidential nominees, Mitt Romney, John McCain, and George W. Bush, not publicly supporting the current Republican nominee. Now Rudy Giuliani has a point that a lot of the voices that we're hearing have been opposed to Donald Trump's candidacy. But what that is missing, is that Donald Trump, his mission was not only to get his base core voters that were with him in the primary to turn out. His core mission was also to start bringing the Republican Party, many of whom supported lots of different candidates throughout the primary, together around his candidacy.

And so even though someone like Mitt Romney may have been opposed all along, when you see the totality of people in the Party that are now saying this is no longer the person that should be representing the Party, this is not the nominee that we should have, the totality of it makes it much more difficult, much more difficult, for Donald Trump to stitch together the coalition of voters he needs in order to win.

BASH: It's an exodus. It's been an exodus today. I mean not everybody has left him, but a lot of people have, who were -- some were holding their nose, but others weren't. I mean we've said so many times during 2016, oh my gosh, we haven't seen this before. This really is unprecedented, and it's hard to describe the sense and the moment of chaos within the Republican Party over the past 24 hours, absolute chaos.

BLITZER: As the Republican National Committee, we haven't exactly seen the chairman, Reince Priebus, the chief strategist, Sean Spicer, rush to television (inaudible) to defend the nominee, have we?

BASH: Yeah, just the opposite. Reince Priebus has canceled his television appearances for tomorrow morning, and so has his spokes (ph). It's been our understanding he's not going out either. There has been a pause button put on the RNC, both when it comes to public support, and trying to explain anything about the Trump campaign, and push the idea that Donald Trump should be president, and also in terms of the coordination between the two. Donald Trump is a very unusual nominee in that he has been relying heavily on the RNC, its money --

CHALIAN: Entirely.

BASH: -- and more importantly -- entirely, right, almost entirely --

CHALIAN: (Inaudible)

BASH: -- for -- for -- for its -- for its organization to get out the vote, mail, and so forth. They put a pause on that. Mark was reporting on the -- Mark Preston was reporting on this earlier, and they're going to do that until after the debate for lots of reasons, but mostly because they're not sure what to do. It's a holding pattern.

BLITZER: OK, stand by, we're going to have much more of our coverage coming up, but right now I want to go to a senior advisor to the Trump campaign, former congressman Jack Kingston. Congressman, thanks very much for joining us. Tell us why you still stand behind Donald Trump.

JACK KINGSTON, FORMER GEORGIA CONGRESSMAN: Well, number one, I think the next couple days will be important. I think that his apology last night was very important. Melania's statement today was important, and the fact that tomorrow night he's going to have an opportunity to address this in front of the American people, and tie it in with why he feels contrition from something that happened 10 years ago.

So I think one of the messages that I -- that I've been saying to fellow Republicans is sit tight, give this thing a few days before you jump ship, and you know, as you know, politicians are risk adverse, and they don't -- they don't always listen to you.

But well let me say this, as I sit down and make a list of what I care about, certainly family values is one of them, but so is the economy, so is immigration security, so is national security, and particularly the Supreme Court.

The next president of the United States is going to be able to nominate two to four members of the Supreme Court, and if my fellow Republicans don't realize that a vote against Donald Trump is a vote for somebody on the Supreme Court who's probably going to be maybe pro-abortion, maybe anti-gun, or want to close Guantanamo Bay, or many, many other issues that are decided by the Supreme Court, 5-4 vote. So this is a real important --

BLITZER: Congressman, I understand what you're saying, you're very loyal to Donald Trump, but take a look, we're going to put up on the screen a whole list of members of -- all Republicans, members of Congress, senators, governors, who in the past 24 hours, as a result of this leaked videotape, have abandoned the Republican nominee.

It's a much bigger list than we're even showing right now, but they are really quickly, almost every few minutes another member of Congress, another senator, they come out and say they can no longer support --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm here, hold on. OK. Hi, everyone. Looks like we're having some technical difficulties. We'll be back with Wolf in just -- in just one moment. We're going to take a quick break. We'll be back live from Washington University. Stay with us.


BLITZER: Welcome back. We're here at Washington University in St. Louis. We're talking with former Republican congressman Jack Kingston. He's a Donald Trump supporter. Congressman, thanks once again for joining us.

I want to get your reaction to the fact that right now, every Republican senator -- female Republican senator, I should say, has withdrawn their support for Donald Trump. Joni Ernst of Iowa has condemned Trump, but not necessarily withdrawn her support. Are they wrong?

KINGSTON: I think they should condemn, and that they have absolutely a right to criticize these horrible comments. But I think also, as someone who won the nominee fair and square, and someone who is closer to their values when it comes to the Supreme Court, national security, economic and immigration security, I think they all owe it to themselves to sit down and talk this thing out. They right now need to hold off on making any big decisions, sit down with him in the next few days, air it out, let's discuss this within the family behind closed doors.

BLITZER: But let me interrupt, Congressman, for a second, Congressman, I take it you personally were also repulsed by what you heard on that videotape.

KINGSTON: Yes. I'm a father of two girls, a brother of three sisters, and I think they are indefensible. However, I do want to emphasize that while I don't share any of those comments, when it comes to the economy, when it comes to national security, the Supreme Court nominations, I think Donald Trump is far closer to whatever Republican believes than what Hillary Clinton believes.

BLITZER: The former secretary of state, Condoleeza Rice, has been very, very silent throughout this entire campaign, but tonight, she issued this statement, I'll put it up on the screen.

"Enough. Donald Trump should not be president. He should withdraw. As a Republican, I hope to support someone who has the dignity and stature to run for the highest office, in the greatest democracy on earth."

She's saying flatly this man, Donald Trump, should not be president, after staying so ominously silent all these months. Your reaction.

KINGSTON: Well, I just -- mechanically, people have already voted, overseas ballots have already been sent. Ballots in each state and every county have already been printed. So when I hear Republicans say that he should step out and less somebody else run, basically they're throwing in the towel, and saying it's all over with.

So you know, I just think from a practical standpoint, he is the nominee. We need to work to make sure he's a better nominee. We need to feel that contrition. We need to feel the sincerity of the apology, and then say, you know -- then make the decision. And that's what I hope people would do, rather than the heat of a media frenzy over a weekend.

BLITZER: Jack Kingston, the former Republican congressman, a strong supporter of Donald Trump, thanks for joining us.

KINGSTON: Thank you, Wolf.

BLITZER: Despite the rapidly growing list of top Republicans demanding that Trump quit the presidential race, Trump insists there is no way he is dropping out. Our special correspondent, Jamie Gangel, has been working her sources for us. Jamie, what are members of the Republican establishment telling you?

JAMIE GANGEL, CNN SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: We reached out, Wolf, to a wide group of people, strategists, elected officials, people with ties to the campaign, and they all said they are two words, frustrated and disgusted. They are really -- some people are talking about resigning. But here is something on a practical level that's being considered, and that's about money. Republican sources have told me that one option that's under consideration is actually to end the joint fundraising agreement, so the RNC would just focus its fundraising exclusively on those critical down ballot races, the Senate races, the congressional races, the statewide races.

They have a problem right now. People don't want to write checks to the joint fundraising. There is an agreement that says the RNC's money that they raised will be shared with Trump. So no decision has been made. My sources say everyone is waiting to see the fallout of the next 24 hours.

They are also waiting to watch the debate tomorrow night, and see what happens. But they are looking at something that could be a serious financial issue for Trump if they go in that direction, Wolf.

BLITZER: Jamie Gangel, thanks very much. Coming up, right here in the CNN NEWSROOM, CNN uncovers more crude conversations about women from Donald Trump's many interviews on Howard Stern's radio show. We'll take a quick break, we'll be right back with more of the breaking news coverage. Stay with us.


BLITZER: We're following the breaking news. In a show of defiance, Donald Trump greeted supporters outside Trump Tower late today, but the Republican Party clearly in meltdown over his stunningly vulgar, sexually aggressive remarks all caught on videotape.

GOP lawmakers are abandoning their nominee, and there are now growing calls for Donald Trump to drop out of this race. Joining us now, our CNN senior political analyst David Gergen, who's a former advisor to four U.S. presidents, and CNN presidential historian, Douglas Brinkley, who's got some historic perspective. Both of you guys have some historic perspective. Give us a big picture look at what's going on over the past 24 hours, because this is truly tumultuous.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It's one of the most remarkable draws we've had in our -- in our politics in years and years, and that is basically a civil war is starting to break out in the Republican Party, between those who are in the establishment, who really have been deeply offended by Trump all along, and even more so by these tapes, but very much now think if he stays at the top, in that case he's going to drag everybody down.

You know, there's collapse of support among women that you talked about (inaudible), if that spreads among women voters all across the country, he's going to lose by a landslide, and they could lose the Senate and the House.

So they want to get him out of there, but they don't know how to do it. And at the same time, he's rallying the grassroots supporters, and you know, he's against the establishment, against the media, and against these established (inaudible).

BLITZER: You used the words civil war. Those are powerful words.

GERGEN: They are very powerful words, but you know, this -- we've never seen anything like this in my memory, and I don't -- I can't remember any time we've been on the -- on the verge of an election when there's real pressure within the Party to get rid of the nominee, you know, it's just not in -- it's not even in their rule book, they don't know how to handle this.

BLITZER: 31 days to go, and look what's going on.

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, CNN PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: That's right. I mean remember in 2012 when Mitt Romney said binders of women in the second debate, and it cost Romney terribly. What a quaint line that is compared to the pornographic X-rated jibberish that we're being dealt with by Donald Trump.

This second debate matters, because Donald Trump has to somehow do an amazing turnaround. He's representing the party of Abraham Lincoln, and the party of Dwight Eisenhower. They both knew how to be humble. He is going to have to somehow find the humility, and really almost plead for forgiveness in a way, and talk from the heart in a way we've never seen him do.

[20:30:10] Remember when Barack Obama had the Jeremiah Wright issue and he got in front of it. And Nixon with the checkers speech. He's got to do something very special to bring women back into the Republican fold.

BLITZER: And clearly that's going to be a huge challenge at the debate tomorrow night, 24 hours from now. We'll see if he can do it.

Stand by with us. Trump's offensive comments on the 2005 recording are not the only instance of him making disparaging remarks about women.

CNN's KFILE team reviewed hours and hours of newly uncovered audio conversations from Howard Stern's radio show.

I want to bring in CNN's Andrew Kaczynski. Andrew, tell our viewers here in the United States and around the world what you found in -- on those audio tapes.

ANDREW KACZYNSKI, CNN KFILE SENIOR EDITOR, REPORTER: So these audio tapes represent a 17-year period in which Donald Trump appeared on the Howard Stern show. You see some -- a lot of very crude descriptions of women coming from Trump in these clips that span from, you know, 1993 to 2010. Some of them are so disgusting that we can't even air them, which obviously means you should go look at them on But I think we actually have a montage of some of them right now.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My daughter is beautiful. Ivanka, she --

HOWARD STERN, RADIO HOST: By the way, your daughter -- TRUMP: She's beautiful.

STERN: Can I say this? A piece of ass.

TRUMP: Yes. The last couple of years I'd go out with somebody and she's, like, 21. And she's talking about, you know, what are you doing and she's studying algebra.

STERN: So what?

TRUMP: It's like -- it was always embarrassing for me to walk in. It's too young. 30 is like a perfect age.

STERN: Absolutely. She had enough life experience.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought she's 35.


STERN: Yes. Too much life experience.

TRUMP: What is it at 35, Howard? It's called check-out time.

STERN: And you're probably, I would say, the greatest judge of beauty on this planet. In fact I would create a TV show for you where all you did was just judge women.

TRUMP: Now that may be the best idea of all.

STERN: It's simple thing. It's a half hour and we strip it out all over the country.

TRUMP: No, I would say I'm the all-time judge.

STERN: You own this pageant, you go over, you look, you're meeting the girls. One of them comes up to you and says, Mr. Trump, you're a very sexy man.

TRUMP: You're beautiful man, you have fantastic hair.

STERN: You're a powerful man, right? Right? You're a powerful man.

TRUMP: Right.

STERN: I want to sleep with you. Now you're not the type that would say no.

TRUMP: I don't want to hurt their feelings.

STERN: Right. No, but I mean, you see a beautiful woman you want to have that.

TRUMP: Right.

STERN: You're a guy who likes to have everything, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, couldn't that be construed, however, as --

STERN: Conflict?


STERN: I don't -- I don't see it as a conflict.

TRUMP: It could be a conflict of interest, but you know, it's the kind of thing you worry about later.



TRUMP: You tend to think about the conflict a little bit later on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The question is, how can it not be construed?

STERN: No, I mean -- I mean, some of these foreign girls, you know, Mr. Trump, in my country we say hello with the vagina. And --


TRUMP: Well, you can also say as the owner of the pageant it's your obligation to do that.

STERN: So you have done that.

TRUMP: Well, I'll tell you the funniest is that I'll go backstage before a show.


TRUMP: And everyone is getting dressed and ready and everything else. And you know, no men are anywhere, and I'm allowed to go in because I'm the owner of the pageant and therefore, I'm inspecting it.


TRUMP: You know, I'm inspecting, I want to make sure everything is good.

STERN: You're like a doctor. You're there --

TRUMP: We had the press. Is everyone OK? They're standing there with no clothes. Is everybody OK and you see these incredible looking women. And so I sort of get away with things like that.


BLITZER: So, Andrew, what you're saying is this is just a small little batch based on what you have heard on these audio tapes. There's so much more, is that right?

KACZYNSKI: Well, there is a lot more. There was -- you know, there was a lot that came out earlier this year probably around February. But there's a lot of Donald Trump-Howard Stern clips that have yet to be found. You know, from the early '90s to basically the end of the '90s Trump appeared on the show probably numerous times that people haven't even listened to yet. So I mean, this could just be sitting in someone's basement. So those might come out by the end of the campaign.

BLITZER: Andrew Kaczynski, thanks very much for that report. I want to get back to our political experts right now.

So, David Chalian, his argument presumably will be, I was a showbiz kind of guy. I was trying to promote "The Apprentice," "Celebrity Apprentice." That's what we do, go on the Howard Stern show to get viewers. That's presumably what he would say. It's a whole different -- a whole different genre, if you will.

CHALIAN: That's right. And he has. He's used that excuse time and again. He also was keenly aware, if you talk to people on this orbit, about the Howard Stern show in particular. He knew he had done it a lot and said some things that may not be seen as what a presidential candidate would say.

But here's what I would argue, Wolf. Everything is a new context now, right? So after the bombshell that we got with the caught on tape moment with the "Access Hollywood"-Billy Bush interview, now having more of these Howard Stern tapes emerge, for the first time hearing it now with the context that all American voters have, with seeing the "Access Hollywood" tape, it's a whole new level.

[20:35:03] I don't know that it gets dismissed as just having been in entertainment at the time. Maybe that would have worked a few months ago. I don't think that's going to work anymore as an excuse.

BLITZER: We have a clip of Ivanka, his daughter, saying her dad is not a groper, if you will. Let me play that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But you have worked so closely with your dad. There's another woman who was quoted in the article that says that Donald Trump groped her at a -- you know, at a meeting, a business meeting.

IVANKA TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP'S DAUGHTER: Yes. Well -- look, I'm not in every interaction my father has but he's not a groper. That's not who he is. And I've known my father obviously my whole life and he has total respect for women.


BLITZER: So, Gloria, that was from CBS back in May following that "New York Times" report that documented all these women coming forward and saying he had groped them, if you will. So all of a sudden this has really exploded.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL ANALYST: Right. And, you know, she also said to me that her father wasn't a sexist and took great offense when I asked that question. I can only imagine how difficult this is for her. She has come out in this campaign and made women's issues, child care, children's issues, a big part of this campaign. She came out at the Republican convention and spoke about it, talked about her father's devotion to those issues. And now, and by the way, these adult children are very involved in the running of this campaign and Ivanka is among them.

And now they find themselves sort of the gilded tower there doing damage control against -- for their father, trying to -- and their father has become an increasingly isolated and defiant candidate, isolated from the Republican Party.

And earlier on in the show, Wolf, you played a clip of Rudy Giuliani saying it was the outsiders versus the insiders. I would argue at this point it's the Trump campaign against the Republican Party. The entire Republican Party. It's not just the establishment, it's people who have endorsed him and are now unendorsing him. And by the way, that has now become a word, unendorsing, right?

BASH: Yes. It has, it has. But to David's point about the context of this, of course, everybody knew Donald Trump as the celebrity. Everybody knew that there were, you know, moments where he was inappropriate or, you know, trying to be a showman and so forth. But in the context of what happened with the tape that came out yesterday, to hear him talking about his daughter like that is just -- it takes cringe worthy to a whole other level.

And it's true. I mean, you know, I'm a daughter, you're a daughter, just imagine that, to hear that from your dad? It just -- it blows your mind.

BORGER: But they've always excused it in the past. Oh, that's my father, he doesn't mean that. It's --

BASH: It's a schtick.

BORGER: Yes, right. It's schtick. He's an entertainer. Yes, sometimes he can be inappropriate. But what we saw on the video yesterday went beyond inappropriate and lewd to predatory. And this is something that I am sure that his children and his wife, by the way, are grappling with. And we know that Melania came out today in a statement of support saying that her husband has apologized.

CHALIAN: And that she accepted it.

BORGER: And that she accepted the apology, which Hillary Clinton accepted Bill Clinton's apology as well, if you'll recall, and that was quite important to Bill Clinton's political future. I don't know whether this will have the same impact that that did.

BLITZER: But Melania in that statement, she also called his words unacceptable in that audio -- in that videotape.

BORGER: Exactly.

BASH: She did. CHALIAN: I mean, here's the question that I have rattling around in

my brain heading into the debate tomorrow night. He's now given a statement both on paper and a video statement. And it hasn't been sufficient in any way to actually move beyond this. After those statements were out there, we saw more Republicans, as Gloria said, unendorsed and walked away from him. So what does he come prepared with to try to address this in front of tens of millions of Americans on the debate stage in a way that allows him to move beyond it.

That to me is the piece that they have been grappling with and I have no indication as to what he may be do differently than he's already done. If he just repeats what he's already said, I find it very hard that this will go away because I've got to believe this is not the last one we're going to hear about from now through the next 30 days.

BASH: And the question is whether he is constitutionally able to do what he needs to do. To say what he said, which was obviously scripted for him last night in a very controlled setting. There were no reporters around. The videotape -- they brought a camera and they hired a camera guy that put it up on social media. Whether he is constitutionally able to do a version of that and then some, expand on that, while he's getting incoming from -- probably from voters, while he's getting incoming from Hillary Clinton.

[20:40:09] And so to be able to stay focused on that and then the question is how much he pivots, to use a word he apparently hates, to the issues that his campaign hates that he needs to stay on, which is, yes, but what about Hillary Clinton allegedly, you know, coming close to breaking the law? Isn't that worse than what I did? I mean, those are the kinds of questions that it's just unclear whether he has the capacity to deal with.

BORGER: And I was talking to a Republican today who suggested kind of along the lines of what you're saying is that he ought to come in there and he ought to apologize and then he ought to take a turn and say now let's get to the issues that concern the American people here. And see if he can -- if he can do that. And that's -- that's difficult for him because as we all know during this campaign, apologizing does not come easily to Donald Trump.

BLITZER: This is the first time he's done it.

BORGER: Exactly. He has said before that he expressed regrets about things and last night he apologized, but he had to do it by prompter.

CHALIAN: And he doesn't allow attacks to go by.

BORGER: And she --

CHALIAN: That's the other piece of it, right?

BORGER: Exactly.

BASH: That's what I meant about constitutionally be able to --

CHALIAN: So if Hillary Clinton comes loaded for bear on this -- BORGER: Which she will.

BASH: Right.

BORGER: Which she will. And she may just give him enough rope, which is what they have been doing all day today, by hanging back, not -- you know, Hillary Clinton tweeted initially, but she hasn't lately because they want to give him enough rope and they want to give the Republican Party just enough space to continue to attack their own candidate, which, by the way, when have we ever seen anything like this?

BASH: This is unbelievable.

BORGER: I mean, it reminds me, although, of course I wasn't born at that point, of the resignation of Richard Nixon. I'm only joking. And when before Richard Nixon resigned from the White House, you saw this kind of domino effect. This is an avalanche here, and we saw that before Nixon resigned. But of course he was an incumbent president. I don't recall anything like this for a party's nominee.

I remember when Bob Dole was running people were deserting him because they thought he was going to lose, but they weren't taking away their endorsement of him or their money.

BASH: And you said something that's important and I've heard this in my calls and conversations with Republican lawmakers and people who are strategists all day today, which is everybody wants to put the pause button on until Sunday night. But what I can't figure out is what is going to be that different that is going to make Republicans change how they're approaching him and whether or not the party says enough.

BLITZER: Let's see if he makes a statement before.


BLITZER: Before, so --


BASH: And I'm told that he is not doing that.

BLITZER: He gave phone interviews to the "Wall Street Journal."

BASH: Right.

BLITZER: To "Washington Post" today, where he said zero chance of him dropping out. He's in this until the very, very end. Let's see if he makes any other statements.

Everyone, stay with us. We have a lot more coming up on this special CNN NEWSROOM. How Donald Trump's troubles and the panic inside the Republican Party could impact tomorrow night's crucial Clinton-Trump debate. We'll be right back.


[20:47:04] BLITZER: We're following the breaking news, the GOP is in meltdown tonight as lawmakers rescind their endorsements of Donald Trump. Many Republicans are calling on their nominee to drop out of the race, just 31 days before Election Day. Trump says there is no chance he's quitting.

Let's listen one more time to the source of all this uproar, this 2005 recording, first released by "The Washington Post" in which Trump makes lewd comments about women. We want to warn you the language in this video is very graphic and very offensive.


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 (EXPLETIVE DELETED). 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.


BLITZER: I'm joined now by some of CNN's partisan political commentators, the former Hillary Clinton presidential campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, the former Reagan White House political director, Jeffrey Lord, Lahnee Chen, he's a former public policy director for Mitt Romney.

So, Jeffrey, Donald Trump is running for president of the United States. Part of that job is crisis management. How would you rate his handling of this crisis so far?

JEFFREY LORD, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: So far so good. I think the video was good, I think it was good of him to get out there.

[20:50:01] BLITZER: How can you say it's so good? Look at the reaction from your fellow Republicans.

LORD: Well, Wolf, let's talk about that for a second because I genuinely think what we've got -- we had that clip with Mayor Giuliani saying it's insiders versus outsiders. That's what's been going on all year long and the interesting fact that the more this happens with elites across the board, the more that is going to push his base and whip up the enthusiasm out there.

BLITZER: That's not enough to get him elected president.

LORD: Well, I think it can extend well beyond that. And you know, we've talked about the Bill Clinton situation. One of the things that happened during that episode was that his numbers went up. There was a CNN poll in the day --

BLITZER: Take a look at these Republicans, these are your fellow Republicans.

LORD: Right.

BLITZER: We'll put some of these pictures up on the screen.


BLITZER: These are not just outsiders, these are not just people who never liked Donald Trump and never supported him. Several of -- most of them the ones in the past 24 hours did endorse him, were willing to vote for him. But now they're saying including Condoleezza Rice.

LORD: Right.

BLITZER: Who has been so silent, highly respected, as you well know.

LORD: Right.

BLITZER: All of a sudden they are saying he is not fit to be president of the United States.

LORD: Right. I mean, in this environment, all that does is underscore the problem. And in a historical sense when Richard Nixon got into his the trouble as a vice presidential candidate, this same thing happened. There were a parade of Republicans who said he's got to get off the ticket, that led to his checker speech and his comeback, but I really think that they're making a big mistake in misjudging the temper of the country here.

BLITZER: Lahnee, you're a Republican. You heard that David Gergen say there is a civil war within the Republican Party right now as a result of this videotape that was released, what, 24 hours ago?

LAHNEE CHEN, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think that's an accurate assessment. I think the big question now is, are we going to focus on the future of the Republican Party or the present? If we focus on the present, you understand why the people are doing what they're doing by leaving Donald Trump. They're thinking about what kind of image the Republican Party going to have. They're probably thinking about their own political fortunes, as well, Wolf, and so all of those factors come to play when we look at what's happening. And there is significant disagreement. I don't think we can cover over that fact. There is.

BLITZER: There's enormous disagreement. From a Democrat's perspective, a supporter of Hillary Clinton, Patti, how do you see the handling of this crisis by Donald Trump?

PATTI SOLIS DOYLE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's been abysmal, frankly. I think his apologies have made the situation worse. His first apology, the written statement, basically likened this behavior to locker room banter, which to me as a woman, as a mother of a son, that's the sentiment of boys will be boys and that's just unacceptable.

And then the videotaped apology, I mean, frankly, he looked like he was being helped captive. He was forced to apologize. There was no remorse there. There was no contrition. I just think it's been handled thus far very badly.

BLITZER: You know, Jeffrey, I've spoken to some Republicans who point out that their frustration over this videotape, what Donald Trump said being released when it was just as WikiLeaks was releasing the transcripts of Hillary Clinton's speeches before major Wall Street law firms for which she was paid a lot and that story has basically been buried.

LORD: Right.

BLITZER: As a result of Donald Trump's words, as they've come forward and they're blaming him directly for what they see this disaster.

LORD: Well, I mean, this was 11 years ago, Wolf. I mean --

BLITZER: But that's not just that -- as Patti says, the way he's handled it, they see it as a disaster. What they would have liked to have seen is for him to immediately come out with some contrition, to apologize --

LORD: Well, I thought he did.

BLITZER: To apologize directly to the women he insulted in that videotape. He still hasn't done that.

LORD: Well, I think he's gotten the ball rolling on this. I mean, Wolf, truly, I think that there are a lot of Americans out there that look at how this came to light, a leak from the media, the coverage of the media, then you get all these elitist politicians, you know, fleeing the ship here. They see this as all part and parcel and frankly --


BLITZER: Jason Chaffetz is the congressman from Utah, elitist politician? Is that what you're saying?

LORD: Yes. They see it as a --

BLITZER: Is he an elitist politician?

LORD: I think that a lot of people see him -- I mean, this isn't the first time --

BLITZER: How do you see Jason Chaffetz.

LORD: Well, I used to have a pretty high opinion and I still sort of have a good opinion of him, but --

BLITZER: Who's been leading the fight in Congress against Hillary Clinton and her e-mails?

LORD: Right, right. I --

BLITZER: Would that be Jason Chaffetz?

LORD: Yes. But I -- but, Wolf, when we had the change in speakerships and all of this sort of thing he seemed to be leading I think in the Boehner camp, et cetera. There's a lot of suspicion of these folks. And they are -- they are I think not helping themselves by this. I thought I saw Governor Schwarzenegger mentioned. Let's just remember that a few days before his election as governor of California the first time something very much like this came forward from the "Los Angeles Times," and yet he wound up winning in a landslide.

BLITZER: What does -- Lahnee, what does Trump need to do now to salvage his campaign?

CHEN: I think tomorrow's debate is crucial.

BLITZER: So what does he need to do there?

CHEN: Well, I think he's got to come out in the first couple of minutes and he has to express genuine contrition. He has to look into the camera saying, look, I understand I hurt a lot of people. I'm sorry. Not qualify it, not as an attack on Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. Just come out and apologize, and then move into talking about the issues.

[20:55:07] You know, the strongest point of his last debate was that first 15 minutes when he was focused o issues like trade and the economy. That's what he needs to do and not go around just sort of saying, look, I'm going to attack Bill and Hillary Clinton for their personal past because this doesn't work.

BLITZER: Can he do that?

SOLIS DOYLE: He has not proven to be a disciplined politician. So I don't know if he can do that, but I think what Hillary needs to do is come out fierce. Come out and condemn Donald Trump in the strongest words she's ever used. She needs to stand up for these women that he has insulted. These women that he's offended. I think she's going to stand up for Nancy O'Dell. BLITZER: All right. Hold on for a moment, guys. We've got a lot

more to discuss.

A quick programming note, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, Senator Tim Kaine and Governor Chris Christie, one of Donald Trump's top advisers, they will be among Jake Tapper's guests on CNN's "STATE OF THE UNION" tomorrow. Please be sure to watch tomorrow morning 9:00 a.m. Eastern. Those guests and a lot more.

Also coming up, here in the CNN NEWSROOM, more breaking news. Donald Trump makes a show of defiance while the Republican Party goes into meltdown over his vulgar and sexually aggressive remarks. As GOP lawmakers abandon their nominee. There are growing calls for him to drop out. We'll be right back.