Former 2016 presidential candidate Ben Carson said he is firmly standing by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump after a leaked recording revealed this year's GOP nominee making vulgar comments about women in a 2005 recording. Trump, who was newly married to his wife Melania at the time, was heard saying he had tried to sleep with another married woman.
Many prominent Republicans -- including Condoleezza Rice, 10 U.S. senators, 10 U.S. representatives, several governors and former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina -- withdrew their support of Trump since the recording surfaced Friday.
Carson, on his Facebook page Saturday, stated "the recent disclosure of lewd conversations Donald Trump had over a decade ago has caused some disillusionment among GOP stalwarts and conservative voters. In no way do I condone Trumps behavior. In fact I condemn any form of disrespect towards women. We should always honor and respect the dignity of our mothers, sisters and daughters. Even though the incident happened ten years ago, well before Trump entered the political arena, this behavior is unacceptable, especially by someone who aspires to higher office."
Armstrong Williams, American political commentator, author of a nationally syndicated conservative newspaper column and adviser to Carson told Business Insider on Saturday afternoon said Carson had spoken to Trump and accepted his apology.
On Facebook, Carson said he felt that "progressives" have had knowledge of this Trump conversation for a long while, and had "dropped it at this point in time" to obscure the release of damaging information about Democratic 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her desire for open borders. "I believe they have more material that they will release periodically up until the election to keep a negative focus on Donald Trump. They do not want to discuss the vital issues that are destroying our nation and the future of our children, because they do not have logical solutions and offer more of the same that has gotten us into this precarious situation."
But the detailed, foul language of Trump's recording sticks with many people because he talked about being able to "grab" women "by the p---y" because "when you're a star they let you do it."
Williams, who also hosts the radio show "The Right Side with Armstrong Williams," said the tape is unfortunately the kind of language heard in rap music and coarse conversation. He said he didn't believe the recording is "disqualifying," however.
"This is a very forgiving nation," Williams said, who said he thinks people want to see humility and remorse from Trump in this situation. "They're willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. You've just got to learn from it."
Trump issued a statement Friday afternoon dismissing his comments as "locker room banter," but after the firestorm of criticism continued, he followed it up with a recorded apology he posted to his Facebook page early Saturday morning.
But former U.S. secretary Condoleezza Rice also used Facebook to make a strong statement that is getting much attention: "Enough! Donald Trump should not be President. He should withdraw. As a Republican, I hope to support someone who has the dignity and stature to run for the highest office in the greatest democracy on earth."