Donald Trump’s wife Melania released a statement on Saturday, calling her husband’s remarks “unacceptable and offensive to me” but expressing hope that “people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world. “
Her statement comes as some major party figures have pulled their support or called on Trump to step down from the ticket.
“The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me,” Melania Trump said. “This does not represent the man that I know. He has the heart and mind of a leader. I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world. “
Trump has been under fire since the release of a 2005 video and audio recording of him making lewd and vulgar comments about women to “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush.
The release of a statement from Melania Trump — who has largely been silent since the Republican National Convention — came about 12 hours after her husband issued a video apology for the remarks. But Donald Trump also was defiant in his statement, quickly turning to attacking former President Bill Clinton’s sexual indiscretions.
Shortly after his wife’s statement on Saturday, Trump tweeted that “the media and establishment want me out of the race so badly — I WILL NEVER DROP OUT OF THE RACE, WILL NEVER LET MY SUPPORTERS DOWN!…”
Among those who are calling on Trump to step aside is Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who is part of the Republican Senate leadership and the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee.