Donald Trump suggested during Sunday night’s presidential debate that his comments about aggressively kissing women and grabbing their genitals might have been misunderstood.
“You described kissing women without consent, grabbing their genitals,” moderator Anderson Cooper said. “That is sexual assault. You bragged that you have sexually assaulted women. Do you understand that?”
“I don’t think you understood what was said,” the Republican nominee replied.
“This was locker room talk,” Trump said. “I am not proud of it. I apologized to my family and the American people. I am not proud of it. This is locker room talk.”
In the comments revealed Friday, Trump said he would “just start kissing” beautiful women without waiting.
“And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything,” Trump said. “Grab them by the pussy.”
Trump first called it locker room banter on Friday evening. On Sunday, asked by Cooper if he actually did those things, he said he had not. He then pivoted to killing terrorists.
“It’s locker room talk and it’s one of those things. I will knock the hell out of ISIS,” Trump said, referring to the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. “We are going to defeat ISIS. ISIS happened a number of years ago in a vacuum that was left because of bad judgment.”
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had a different characterization of Trump’s comments.
“What we all saw and heard on Friday was Donald talking about women, what he thinks about women, what he does to women, and he has said that the video didn’t represent who he is,” Clinton said. “But I think it’s clear to anyone who heard it, that it represents exactly who he is.”
Clinton went on to say that the U.S. is a great country because of its people’s common decency and diversity, something she said she celebrated.
“It’s just words, folks. It’s just words,” Trump said in response. “I have been hearing those words for many years.”
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.