“If I heard somebody talking around my girls like we heard on the ‘Access Hollywood’ [tape], it’d be done for me,” Monson said, in audio first flagged by CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski.
“I understand that,” Trump Jr. responded. “Obviously, he’s not happy about that.”
But the younger Trump, who has been among the most visible surrogates for his father’s presidential campaign, quickly pivoted to downplaying the comments’ significance.
“We all probably know guys who have had conversations with other guys that go a little bit in that direction,” he said. “That’s a fact of life.”
He even argued that it was a positive characteristic, contrasting his father’s comments with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s highly managed public persona.
“He hasn’t spent his whole life sitting there polishing every statement he’s ever made, every conversation he’s ever had,” Trump Jr. added. “He doesn’t run a focus group so he can tell you what he’s thinking. He speaks from the heart.”
The latest explanation coming from Trump’s oldest son is a variation of the “locker room talk” dismissals the nominee himself has made. Earlier this month, Trump Jr. offered a similar excuse, claiming his father’s remarks made him “a normal person not a political robot.”
Trump Jr. has also claimed ― in 2013 ― that women who cannot “handle” sexual harassment “don’t belong in the workforce.” In 2011, he also tweeted that a celebrity like Marc McGrath “can sexually harass the hell out of anyone.”
There is likely no explanation comprehensive enough to undo the damage that Trump’s 2005 comments have inflicted on his campaign. In the weeks following the release of the leaked video, a growing number of women have stepped forward with allegations of assault at Trump’s hands, seemingly contradicting the claims that the businessman’s comments were “just words.”
As of Saturday, HuffPost Pollster’s election forecast predicted that Clinton had a 96.1 percent chance of winning the presidency.
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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.