Donald Trump on Wednesday chalked up his long history of making insulting comments about women to “entertainment.”
“A lot of that was done for the purpose of entertainment,” the Republican nominee told Las Vegas’ KSNV-TV. “I can tell you this: There is nobody — nobody — that has more respect for women than I do.”
Asked about his habit of rating women on a scale from 1-10 and criticizing their bodies, Trump attributed his comments to his public persona as host of NBC’s “Apprentice.”
“You know, you’re in the entertainment business. You’re doing ‘The Apprentice.’ You have one of the top shows on television. And you say things differently for a reason,” Trump said.
Though he assured KSNV reporter Jim Snyder that it would be “easy” for him to tone down those remarks, the real estate mogul’s gendered criticisms have endured long into his presidential campaign.
During the 2016 race, Trump has hinted that Fox News host Megyn Kelly treated him unfriendly because there was “blood coming out of her wherever,” called Kelly a bimbo, and mocked the appearance of Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) wife.
As recently as last week, Trump went on a tear against former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, who he previously called “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping” for gaining “a massive amount of weight” after winning her title. He also targeted Hillary Clinton for her husband’s extramarital affairs.
Trump’s suggestion that he only made derogatory comments about women to bolster his public image as a billionaire playboy also contradict a slew of recent news reports about how he treated women in private.
In an Associated Press investigation out this week, over 20 people who worked on “The Apprentice” described Trump’s inappropriate behind-the-scenes behavior, which included making lewd comments about a camerawoman who he said reminded him of his eldest daughter, frequently remarking on staffers’ bodies, and requesting that one contestant twirl before him so he could look at her figure.