Sen. Mike Lee, who has long refused to endorse Donald Trump's campaign for the presidency, has joined the call for the GOP nominee to drop out of the presidential race in the wake of a video surfacing of the businessman making explicit comments about women.
"I respectfully ask you, with all due respect, to step aside," the Utah Republican, who last month flatly refused a proposal by Trump that he be nominated for the Supreme Court, said in a Facebook video posted early Saturday morning. "Step down, allow someone else to carry the banner of these principles... rather than weighing down the American people."
Lee noted in his video that he has a wife, a daughter, a mother, and five sisters, and it has occurred to him that if anybody spoke to any of them the way Trump has "spoken to women, I wouldn't hire that person. I wouldn't feel comfortable hiring that person to be the leader of the free world."
Friday afternoon, The Washington Post published a video of a conversation with then-Access Hollywood reporter Billy Bush, with a hot mic on a tour bus picking up Trump making explicit comments about trying to have sex with women as he was arriving on the set of the NBC soap opera "Days of Our Lives" for a cameo in 2005.
Late Friday night, Trump offered an apology, calling his comments private "locker-room banter" and saying he was sorry "if anyone was offended."
Lee said in his video that "time and time again," the United States has been asked to settle when it comes with the government, and on matters of "great principle" with Trump.
The Republican party has succeeded by adhering to its principles, he continued, and those principles would help it win in November — if it had a candidate who was not a "distraction."
"With all due respect, you sir, are the distraction," Lee said to Trump. He continued that there is time left to figure out who would replace Trump, but urged his party to find a candidate who can carry its banner through the Nov. 8 election without settling on Trump.
Lee joins other powerful Utah politicians in the outcry against Trump, reports The Salt Lake Tribune. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Rep. Jason Chaffetz both said Friday night they can no longer vote for Trump, while former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and Rep. Chris Stewart joined Lee in saying Trump should drop out of the race.
Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk on Friday also called on Trump to step aside and for the Republican Party to use "emergency rules" to replace him, with the election being just a month away, reports The Hill.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.