Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been on defense in the wake of a leaked 2005 tape in which he was recorded making lewd comments about women during a conversation with suspended TODAY show host Billy Bush. Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton, during Sunday’s second presidential debate, tried to capitalize on the leaked tape, saying his language proved he was “unfit” to serve as President of the United States.
But Jerry Fallwell Jr, president of Liberty University, told the FOX Business Network’s Neil Cavuto on Tuesday while Clinton is using the comments to her advantage, it might be the establishment Republicans who are responsible for bringing the 11-year-old tape to light. Fallwell said six or eight weeks before it was released, he received a call from people close to top Republicans.
“They said, ‘Jerry these guys are working on something they say will guarantee Donald Trump is not the nominee for on Nov. 8 of the Republican Party,’” Fallwell said on Cavuto Coast-to-Coast. “I didn’t think anything of it but when I saw what happened over the weekend, it made me wonder.”
Ahead of Sunday’s debate, House Speaker Paul Ryan revoked his invitation for Trump to join him on the campaign trail, and other members of the party followed suit, using the tape as the latest example of why they don’t support Trump for president.
“They all started calling for him to step down as the nominee. It made me wonder. Maybe I’m a conspiracy theorist, but I did report it to the right people because if it was a conspiracy, I know from my days practicing law, if any two people or more work together to harm a third person, that is criminal,” Fallwell said.
Some have speculated there are tapes of similar substance that have yet to be released. But Fallwell, who said he and his family don’t condone the remarks, said Trump should stay the course, not let the controversy distract him, and press the issues on the campaign trail.
“[He needs to] say I’m not the person I used to be. All of us are sinners, all of us are redeemable, despite what Hillary says,” he explained. “Five years from now when the Supreme Court is stacked with people who will rip the Constitution to shreds, get rid of the Second Amendment, nobody will be thinking about what Donald Trump said in a video in 2005, they’re going to be thinking about what was I thinking when I voted in 2016, why wasn’t I worried about future of our country, my children, grandchildren.”