Republicans have been twisted in knots trying to respond to Donald Trump's lewd and sexually aggressive comments about women on a recently unveiled 2005 video. Some are even suggesting the things he talked about doing — groping women and kissing them without their consent — might not constitute sexual assault.
Here's the exchange, which came after Farenthold repeated the Trump claim that this was merely “locker room talk” and argued that it was supposed to be “off the record”:
CHRIS HAYES: Congressman, if someone off the record said — could someone off the record in a locker room — this was not in a locker room, it was a workplace — said, “I really like raping women,” would that be locker room talk?FARENTHOLD: Again — it depends — you don't know the entire context of all of this.HAYES: But you would be fine that? If a tape came out. ...FARENTHOLD: But I'm not here to defend Donald Trump. I don't like what he said, but ...HAYES: If a tape came out with Donald Trump saying that — if a tape came out with Donald Trump saying that, saying “I really like to rape women,” you would continue to endorse him.FARENTHOLD: Again, it would, I — that would be bad, and I would have to consider — I'd consider it. But again, we're talking about what Donald Trump said 10 years ago as opposed to what Hillary Clinton has done in the past two or three years.
And here are Farenthold's apology and explanation:
I apologize for my failure to immediately condemn anyone who would say something as outrageous as they like raping women. (1/3)— Blake Farenthold (@farenthold) October 12, 2016
During an interview on MSNBC with Chris Hayes tonight, I was thrown off by the anchor’s use of a hypothetical question. (2/3)— Blake Farenthold (@farenthold) October 12, 2016
I do not, and have not ever condoned rape or violence against women. That is not the kind of man I believe Donald Trump to be. (3/3)— Blake Farenthold (@farenthold) October 12, 2016
Farenthold has made headlines for the wrong reasons before. He has been known to make the occasional gaffe, and he was once sued by a former staffer who claimed he sexually harassed her and that he created a hostile work environment. The suit was settled out of court.