NEW YORK (CNN) — Donald Trump will “never” drop out.
The embattled Republican presidential nominee told a pair of newspapers on Saturday that he has no intention of quitting the presidential race despite a growing chorus of Republicans urging him to step aside in the wake of sexually aggressive remarks he made in 2005.
“I’d never withdraw. I’ve never withdrawn in my life,” Trump told The Washington Post. “No, I’m not quitting. I have tremendous support.”
He also told The Wall Street Journal there is “zero chance I’ll quit.”
The comments also came as his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, said he was “offended” by Trump’s remarks and could not defend them. Pence on Saturday canceled plans to attend a Wisconsin Republican event alongside House Speaker Paul Ryan even though the Trump campaign announced Friday evening Pence would attend in Trump’s stead.
Trump struck the defiant tone on Saturday less than 24 hours after previously unaired footage of Trump having talking in lewd and sexually aggressive terms about women during a 2005 taping for “Access Hollywood” surfaced.
In that timespan, Republicans have quickly condemned Trump for the comment many of them have deemed “inexcusable” and “indefensible,” prompting Trump to issue his first-ever apology of his nearly 16-month campaign.
But Trump also signaled a willingness to fight, quickly turning from apology to defiant combativeness in the 90-second video statement, pivoting to attacking Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for her husband’s sex scandals.
The brash billionaire’s insistence to the pair of newspapers on Saturday morning, though, came as Republican members of congress began urging Trump to step aside, with several senators who had endorsed Trump, including Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho and Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, formally pulling their support.