- Trump considered abandoning the 2016 race after the “Access Hollywood” tape came out, Kellyanne Conway says.
- He had seen reports that the GOP could force him off the ticket or vote to expel him, she said.
- Conway made the claim in her new memoir “Here’s the Deal,” per the Daily Beast.
Former President Donald Trump considered dropping out of the 2016 presidential race after the vulgar “Access Hollywood” tape came out, according to Kellyanne Conway, per the Daily Beast.
Conway, formerly Trump’s campaign manager and later the president’s senior counselor, made the claim in her new memoir “Here’s the Deal.”
The Daily Beast reported that, in the book, Conway wrote that she and Trump huddled in Trump Tower on the night of October 8, 2016, to discuss the future of his candidacy.
Leaked on October 7, 2016, the tape showed Trump bragging on a hot mic about his attempts to kiss women without asking and saying, “grab ’em by the pussy.”
Trump had seen reports that the GOP could “force him off the ticket or hold a vote to expel him,” Conway wrote in the book. The incident was condemned widely, including by prominent Republicans.
“Should I get out [of the race]?” Trump asked Conway, according to the book, per the Daily Beast.
Conway said she thought Trump was either testing her or second-guessing himself, the Daily Beast reported.
“You actually can’t,” she quotes herself saying, per the media outlet. “Unless you want to forfeit and throw the whole damn thing to Hillary.”
According to the book, Trump reportedly replied to Conway: “What do you mean I can’t?”
Conway said that she responded: “I know you don’t like to lose, but I also know you don’t like to quit.”
She claims she then reassured him he would win and told him the misogynistic comments were “disgusting” and “reprehensible,” per the Daily Beast.
Trump appeared “frightened”
Insider previously reported that Trump took two hours to summon the courage to face his wife, Melania Trump.
When the tape was played to Trump’s 2016 campaign team, he appeared “frightened” to see her, a source told “The Art of Her Deal” by author Mary Jordan, per CBS News.
At the time, Trump apologized but defended the tape as “locker room banter” and deflected by suggesting that Bill Clinton had said worse. He insisted on October 8, 2016, that he would never drop out.
Insider reached out to Trump’s post-presidency office on Saturday morning but did not immediately receive a response.