Congressman Jason Chaffetz withdraws his endorsement of Donald Trump

Posted at 9:07 PM, Oct 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-08 11:10:44-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz said he is withdrawing his support for Donald Trump  Friday after a video surfaced showing the Republican candidate for president making vulgar remarks in 2005 about touching and kissing women without their consent.

Chaffetz, a Republican representing Utah's Third Congressional District, appeared on FOX 13 News at Nine on Friday, declaring: "I'm out. I can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for president. It is some of the most abhorrent and offensive comments that you can possibly imagine."

The congressman's recanting was one in a series of rebukes from Utah's Republican political leaders. Some, like Utah Governor Gary Herbert, announced they would no longer vote for him. Others, like Sen. Mike Lee and Congressman Chris Stewart, called on Trump to step down.

RELATED: Utah politicians react to Trump's comments

Rep. Chaffetz said he and his wife have a 15-year-old daughter, and he said if he can't look her in the eye and tell her about what Trump said he can't endorse the man.

While Chaffetz said he isn't sure who he will vote for, he said he won't be voting for Hillary Clinton and added that it's a shame Mike Pence isn't at the top of the ticket. He also said Trump's response to the criticism was an apology for getting caught, not an apology for his behavior.

"I think the message of Donald Trump is a good one, but if this is the way he acts... And that apology, that was no apology," he said. "That was an apology for getting caught, that was not an apology for the behavior."

Saying he has to call balls and strikes as he sees them, Chaffetz said the video shows unacceptable behavior.

"And why should we tolerate this?" Chaffetz asked. "This is the Presidency of the United States of America: I just can't do it."

In the video, Trump makes several vulgar remarks and talks about touching or kissing women without their consent.

“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them," Trump says in the footage. "It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait... And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything.”

Chaffetz endorsed Marco Rubio in January before ultimately endorsing Donald Trump as the Republican nominee.

Back in August Chaffetz told Fox 13 Newshe didn't agree with everything Trump said or how he said it, but he said at that time he felt Trump was more trustworthy than Hillary Clinton and would be better for Utah.

"Yes, oh yes, absolutely," Chaffetz said in August about supporting Trump for President. "Having somebody coming in from the outside to reconstitute what's going on in the Congress and in Washington D.C., I think it's a good thing, I think he's going to mix it up, and I think that's a positive thing and so, certainly in contrast with Hillary Clinton, my goodness, if we want another term of Barack Obama, put Hillary Clinton in there and see it get worse."