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Donald Trump on Thursday addressed his controversial comments about women’s appearances.
In an interview with KSNV, a Nevada TV station, the Republican nominee said he made some of the past comments “for the purpose of entertainment.”
“You have two beautiful daughters past their teenage years. Can you understand the concern from parents of younger girls that some of your comments could be hurtful to girls struggling with body image and the pressure to be model perfect?” the KSNV reporter asked Trump.
“A lot of that was done for the purpose of entertainment,” he responded. “There’s nobody that has more respect for women than I do.”
The reporter followed up by asking if he’s trying to “tone it down now.”
“It’s not a question of trying. It’s very easy,” Trump replied.
Trump’s prior comments about women gained renewed attention after Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton brought up his remarks about both Rosie O’Donnell, a TV personality, and Alicia Machado, a former Miss Universe, during the first presidential debate last week.
Trump had called O’Donnell a “pig,” and allegedly dubbed Machado “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping,” apparent references to her weight gain as Miss Universe and her ethnicity.
During the debate, Trump admitted to saying “very tough things” to O’Donnell and added that he thinks “everybody would agree that she deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her.”
Trump engaged in a weeklong defense of his past comments about Machado, and later called her “disgusting” in an early-morning tweet and asked his followers to “check out” a “sex tape” he said featured Machado.