In a video message on Facebook Friday, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) said Donald Trump should step aside and allow the Republican Party to rally around another candidate.
“I respectfully ask you with all due respect, to step aside. Step down. Allow someone else to carry the banner of these principle,” Lee said.
In his video address, Lee – who was involved in the fight to deny Trump the nomination at the convention– said that a video that had surfaced showing Trump making predatory comments about women had him deeply worried.
“I have a wife. I have a daughter. I have a mother, and I have five sister all of whom I love dearly,” Lee said. “It’s occurred to me on countless occasions today that if anyone spoke to my wife, my daughter, my mother or any of my five sisters the way Mr. Trump has spoken to women, I wouldn’t hire that person. I wouldn’t hire that person, wouldn’t want to be associated with that person,” Lee said. “And, I certainly don’t think I would feel comfortable hiring that person to be the the leader of the free world.”
Lee said he was frustrated that Trump had tried to dismiss the video in an apology as “a distraction.”
“With all due respect sir, you sir are the distraction. Your conduct sir is the distraction,” Lee said. “It’s a distraction from the very principles that will help us win in November.”
Lee was not the only Utah politician to distance himself from Trump after news broke Friday of Trump explicit 2005 comments on seducing women. In an interview with a local Fox affiliate, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), unendorsed Trump.
“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,” Chaffetz said according to Fox 13.