Supporters of Donald Trump, unconvinced that a video in which he made crude comments about women disqualifies his candidacy, made a pilgrimage Saturday to his namesake tower to show solidarity.
Boys will be boys. The Clintons have done far worse. The tape’s release is an eleventh-hour dirty trick by Democrats seeking to deflect from WikiLeaks’ release that same day of secret excerpts of Hillary Clinton’s paid speeches.
In about a dozen interviews on the Fifth Avenue sidewalk outside Trump Tower, that’s how Trump’s supporters say they view the 2005 tape, made public Friday. In the tape he describes trying to have sex with a married woman and boasts about kissing and grabbing women because he is famous.
“It’s guys. It’s like a locker room. Men exaggerate,” said Roberta Miller, 65, of Washington D.C., who is retired from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “It was just talk. It was just talk. It was just talk. I assure you.”
“TRUMP” in rhinestone pinned to her jacket and a “Make America Great Again” sign in her hand, Miller suggested Clinton’s backers were behind the video’s release.
“Ugh. She will do anything say anything take any position to gain power,” said Miller, who is vacationing in New York with her husband. “I think that’s obvious.”
Nearby, Joey Zeno, 47, a Jersey City laborer, was screaming as loud as he could from a police pen.
“Talk about what Hillary has done, rather than what Trump says! . . . Hillary is Satan!” Zeno said A passer-by called Zeno a right-wing extremist.
“Yeah! I’m a right-wing extremist,” he screamed back. “Puerto Rican, baby, for Trump!”
Giovanni Paliotta, 57, who owns a coffee shop in downtown Brooklyn and lives in Astoria, said the video was offensive but forgivable, given Trump’s opponent.
“Trump is a little crazy too but I don’t want to go with Hillary,” he said. “I didn’t like the tape, but everybody makes mistakes.”
He added: “Why’s it coming up now, close to the election?”
Kether Ui, a Chinese-born Trump supporter who lives in Nassau County, said “all men talk like this” and that a Trump presidency was needed because “he’s doing everything for America” and President Barack Obama had allowed too many Americans to sign up for food stamps.
“I love America. Trump loves America,” she said. Wearing a Trump hat, pin and T-shirt, Ui dismissed the tape’s relevance, saying what’s important is who is best qualified to improve the employment rate and the country’s standing.
Her support for Trump provoked the ire of passer-by Kim Littlefield, 47, who is in real estate and lives in Chelsea, Manhattan.
She hectored Ui, asking how as a fellow Asian-American and woman, she could support Trump.
“Oh, my God. Oh, my God,” said Littlefield, an avowed Clinton supporter.
Later, in an interview, she said she was elated at the video’s release.
“I mean are you surprised? Seriously, dude.
“I feel though as if it’s Christmas Day for me. I feel as if I got the best present,” Littlefield said. “He has completely imploded. I think his campaign is over.”