Donald Trump rejected any calls that he step down Saturday, telling both The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post that he is not giving up. “I’d never withdraw. I’ve never withdrawn in my life,” Trump told the Washington Post in a phone call from his home in Trump Tower in New York. “No, I’m not quitting this race. I have tremendous support.”
Trump said he may make a speech Saturday from New York City: “That’s what I’m thinking about,” he told the Post. “We’ll see.”
“People are calling and saying, ‘Don’t even think about doing anything else but running,” Trump said when asked about GOP defections. “You have to see what’s going on. The real story is that people have no idea the support. I don’t know how that’s going to boil down but people have no idea the support.
“Running against her,” Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, makes keeping the party behind him easier, Trump added.
“It’s because she’s so bad. She’s so flawed as a candidate. Running against her, I can’t say it’d be the same if I ran against someone else, but running against her makes it a lot easier, that’s for sure.”
Trump told the Journal on Saturday morning “zero chance I’ll quit.”
Three Republican members of the Senate publicly announced they will not vote for Trump and former rival Carly Fiorina called on him to withdraw.
There is no precedent for a major party to replace their nominee this late in the campaign and it remains unclear if there is an avenue to force him from the race. Voting has already begun in several states, including the important swing states of Virginia and North Carolina.
Disclosure of a 2005 video of Trump talking on an open microphone showed the then-reality TV star speaking openly about groping women and trying to seduce a married woman. The video was taped months after Trump married his third wife, Melania.
Trump took to Twitter on Saturday morning, seeming to make light of the controversy by posting on the online social media website “Certainly has been an interesting 24 hours!”
Trump has struggled to win over women voters, lagging Clinton in the polls. Democrats have sought to highlight past Trump behavior toward women in an effort to erode his support with less than a month to go until the Nov. 8 election.
“Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize,” Trump said in his video statement, posted on his Facebook page.
The video overshadowed the publication of excerpts of Clinton’s closed-door paid speeches that were made public on Friday by a hacker who claimed to have obtained them from the email account of John Podesta, the chairman of the Democrat’s campaign. In the speeches, Clinton advocates for more open borders and trade, a position she abandoned during the primary because it was politically untenable to Democratic progressives. Likewise, Trump has repeatedly criticized her for past support of free trade.
The video opened deep divisions within the Republican Party about how to respond, with a stream of Republican leaders condemning the remarks and some withdrawing their support for Trump.