What to Know
- Two protests were held on Wednesday, the first at Trump Tower and the second at Columbus Circle
- The protesters called for a public repudiation not just of Trump, but of the Republican party, more broadly
- The demonstrations come as Trump's remarks about kissing women and grabbing their genitals threaten an irreparable rift in the GOP
Dozens of women protested outside Trump Tower and at Columbus Circle on Wednesday, calling on the GOP to pull its endorsement of "sexual predator" Donald Trump in the wake of a video leak that showed the Republican presidential nominee making denigrating comments about women more than a decade ago.
At Columbus Circle, members of the NYC National Organization for Women chanted "Dump Trump," "Reject Donald Trump" and "This stops NOW."
Sonia Ossorio, the group's president, called Trump a mysoginist and said the leaked tape makes women remember their experiences "of discomforting lewd comments, of knowing men are in the corner talking about you, of being groped."
The group of two dozen people, both women and men, held signs that read "#GOP hands off me," "Dangerous for women, dangerous for America," "GOP: IS IT TRUMP OR WOMEN?," and "Take rape seriously."
"What [Donald Trump] said is sexual assault," said Melissa Quesinberry, of New York City.
The group of women and girls at Trump Tower, led by survivors of sexual assault dressed in black, formed a human wall outside Trump's office as they called for women nationwide to reject not just Trump, but the Republican Party. Many held signs calling the presidential nominee repulsive and disgusting. Others read "GOP Hands Off Me" and "Women Reject Donald Trump."
Trump has played down his 2005 remarks, calling them the product of "locker-room banter." While he has apologized and said he was embarrassed, many felt his explanation trivialized a very real infraction.
"They think that our issue is with the lewd comment Donald Trump made," protester Nadya Stevens said. "That's not our problem. Our problem is with his endorsement of sexual assault."
The remarks have resonated on college campuses across the country, where groups of students say the comments undermine their efforts to encourage women who have been victimized by sexual assault to stand up and speak out.
Trump is not without his female supporters, though. A group of women rallied in his defense in Albany on Wednesday.
The demonstrations come as Trump's caught-on-tape remarks about kissing women and grabbing their genitals threaten an irreparable rift in the Republican party that insiders fear could jeopardize not just the presidential election, but control of Congress as well.
Forty Republican senators and congressmen have revoked their support for Trump — with nearly 30 of them calling on him to quit the race altogether in recent days. House Speaker Paul Ryan told fellow lawmakers on Monday he would not campaign for or defend the businessman in the election's closing weeks. But the head of the Republican National Committee declared he was in full coordination with the embattled presidential nominee.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, in his first comments on the matter since the tape was released, said Tuesday that Trump's apology was insufficient and his comments "indefensible," but that he still supported his candidacy.