Donald Trump found himself in the middle of controversy on Friday after video emerged of the Republican presidential nominee making lewd sexual comments about women back in 2005.
Speaking to CNN, Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, explained such criticisms of Trump as irrelevant criteria for selecting a president.
“We are electing a leader for the free world, we’re not electing a Sunday school teacher,” said Lewandowski. “I think what this comes down to, and this is not a surprise, is clearly this is not how women should be spoken about. But we’re not choosing a Sunday school teacher here, and I want to be very clear about this.”
Furthermore, although Lewandowski admitted the comments were inappropriate, they were made long ago. He stressed that Trump never spoke that way around him.
“What we know about Donald Trump, this is 12 years ago, this audiotape. It does not reflect or bring to mind the Donald Trump that I spent 18 months with traveling. I never heard anything like this out of him,” said Lewandowski.
“And so you know, let me say … we are electing a leader for the free world, we’re not electing a Sunday school teacher,” he reiterated.
The video, released by The Washington Post, contains footage of Trump bragging to television personality Billy Bush about his ability to make sexual advances on women, saying he “doesn’t even wait” to kiss them and “when you’re a star, they let you do it.”
“Are his words perfect?” questioned Lewandowski, rhetorically. “Absolutely not,” he answered. “Is this defensible? I don’t think so.”
He went on say Trump was still “the best candidate to reverse the downward spiral the nation is in right now,” adding that Trump should get ahead of this issue and put it behind him.
“[Trump should] sit down and have an interview, do it tonight, do it with a serious journalist. Get the issue out in front of you. Make sure that you answer the tough questions right now,” Lewandowski suggested.
Trump issued an apology Friday, saying, “This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. … I apologize if anyone was offended.”
He added: “Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close.”
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