Donald Trump's campaign is on damage control after one of the most damaging leaks in election history—but some commentators aren't sure if he'll be able to recover at all from the release of a 2005 "hot mic" tape in which he makes some very crude comments about women. The candidate is facing an almost unprecedented backlash from his own party, with some leading Republicans calling for him to step down as the nominee. A round-up of coverage:
- House Speaker Paul Ryan is one of scores of leading Republicans now trying to distance themselves from Trump, the Washington Post reports. He released a statement saying he is "sickened" by the comments—and Trump is no longer invited to a Wisconsin campaign event he was supposed to attend Saturday.
- CNN looks at how the old Access Hollywood tape made its way to the media at a very unfortunate time for Trump. Sources say a producer remembered the tape early in the week and, after digging it up mid-week, the show planned to air it Monday—but a copy made its way to the Washington Post first.
- CBS reports that Mike Pence has been refusing to answer reporters' questions about the tape. Reporters accompanying Pence were suddenly ushered out of a restaurant when the tape became public Friday. At a rally in Ohio that evening, Pence said that Trump emerges "still standing stronger than ever before" whenever he is targeted by the media.
- Republican fundraising chief Spencer Zwick tells the AP that he has been getting phone calls from donors who "want help putting money together to fund a new person to be the GOP nominee." He says a write-in campaign "could actually work," although some states don't allow write-in candidates.
- The Los Angeles Times reports that even Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who leads a pro-Trump super PAC and had his hands full dealing with Hurricane Matthew, found the time to denounce Trump's comments. "I'm not following politics closely right now, but this is terrible," he said. "I don't agree with anyone talking like this about anyone, ever."
- The New York Times takes a look at what it calls "the apology that wasn't." Sources say Trump huddled with advisers, including daughter Ivanka, before issuing the brief—and defiant apology—late Friday. The insiders say aides urged Trump not to mention the Clintons in the apology, but their advice was ignored.
- NBC News has statements from many of the Republicans who have condemned the remarks, including RNC chief Reince Priebus. "It's over," a GOP strategist and Trump supporter tells the network. "Never seen anything like it. Never will."
- People reports that Billy Bush, the co-host heard making lewd comments along with Trump, says he is "embarrassed and ashamed and is sorry for "playing along" with Trump.
- Trump tells the Washington Post he's staying in the race. “I’d never withdraw. I’ve never withdrawn in my life,” he says, citing "tremendous support."
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