Sen. Mike Lee calls for Trump to step down

 
"I respectfully ask you, with all due respect, to step aside. Step down, allow someone else to carry the banner of these principles... rather than weighing down the American people," Lee said in a video posted to Facebook on Friday night.
 
Lee — who has refused to endorse Trump — said Republicans should instead "find a candidate that can carry that banner without distraction and without settling." 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
"As [Republicans] been asked to settle, we've been given a huge series of distractions," Lee said in the video, before turning his focus to directly addressing Trump: "With all due respect, sir, you are the distraction. Your conduct, sir, is the distraction." 
 
 
The Washington Post published audio of the businessman making explicit comments about trying to have sex with women, which were caught on a hot mic in 2005. Trump issued a half-apology, saying the comments were private "locker-room banter" and "I apologize if anyone was offended." 
 
Though Trump offered a deeper apology late Friday night in a video, he also said the comments were a "distraction" from the election.
 
In addition to Lee, Sen. Mark KirkMark Steven Kirk The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Advocates push for EpiPens on flights after college student's mid-flight allergic reaction Funding the fight against polio MORE (R-Ill.) also called on Trump to step aside, and for the party to institute "emergency rules" to replace him roughly a month before the election. 
 
Lee, in the video, said he has been thinking about Trump's 2005 comments, noting that if someone spoke to any of his female family members like that "I wouldn't hire that person." 
 
"I wouldn't hire that person, wouldn't want to be associated with that person. I certainly don't think I would comfortable hiring that person to be the leader of the free world," he said. 
 
Lee has repeatedly voiced dissatisfaction with Trump, despite the GOP nominee listing him as a possible Supreme Court nominee if he wins the White House in November. 
 
When questioned him on his refusal to back the party's nominee in late June, Lee grew frustrated and pointed to Trump citing a tabloid story that linked Ted Cruz's father to Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who shot President John F. Kennedy.
 
He added Friday that GOP voters have been "asked to settle time and time again" throughout the 2016 election. 
 
"This can't continue. It's time for us not to settle. It's time for us to expect more," he said.