Elections

Rudy Giuliani concedes that Trump’s comments describe sexual assault

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani arrives at Trump Tower, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, in New York. Republican leaders from Utah to Alabama called on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to quit the race after he bragged about groping women in a 2005 conversation caught on tape.
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani arrives at Trump Tower, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, in New York. Republican leaders from Utah to Alabama called on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to quit the race after he bragged about groping women in a 2005 conversation caught on tape. AP

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, one of Donald Trump’s top advisers, agreed Sunday that some of the actions Trump said he made toward women in a leaked audio tape describe sexual assault.

But Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, cautioned that it’s unclear whether Trump actually carried out some of the behavior he mentioned in the 2005 audio, which was leaked to The Washington Post.

Giuliani’s comments came after ABC’s “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos noted that “As both Senator (John) McCain and Vice President (Joe) Biden pointed out, what Trump is describing in that tape is sexual assault.”

“That's what he's talking about,” Giuliani responded. “You know, whether it happened or not, I don't know. And how much exaggeration was involved in that, I don't know.”

Giuliani added: “I do know there's a tendency on the part of some men at different times to exaggerate things like this. And I'm not in any way trying to excuse it or condone it.”

Giuliani said Trump is sorry for the lewd and sexually aggressive comments he made.

“I think Donald Trump has expressed that very, very clearly, that he's ashamed of himself and he's embarrassed by what he -- after all, he's the -- he's the father of two daughters and I think he has three -- he has eight grandchildren and I think three of them are girls,” the former mayor said.

Giuliani suggested that Trump’s behavior captured on the audio tape is a thing of the past.

“That was then and this is now,” he said. “And he’s gone through 14 months of running for president. And, as you know, running for president does something to you. It changes a lot of the way you look at things, it changes a lot of the way in which you behave.”

A seemingly defiant Trump in a Sunday morning tweet blasted the growing list of Republicans who are either urging him to quit the presidential race or dropping their support of his candidacy.

“So many self-righteous hypocrites,” Trump tweeted. “Watch their poll numbers - and elections - go down!”

William Douglas: 202-383-6026, @williamgdouglas

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