US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a town hall event on October 6, 2016 in Sandown, New Hampshire. (Photo by AFP)
US House Speaker Paul Ryan and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton have slated Republican Donald Trump over his past remarks about women.
In a conversation leaked first by The Washington Post on Friday, Trump was caught making vulgar comments about objectifying women.
The audio was recorded in 2005 while Trump was on a bus with former "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush.
The business mogul can be heard talking about his failed attempt to seduce a “married” woman.
He also says, “I’m automatically attracted to beautiful” women.
“And when you’re a star, they let you do it,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”
Clinton leaves a Hillary Victory Fund event in New York on October 6, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
Clinton tweeted that "this is horrific. We cannot allow this man to become president."
Ryan also said in a statement, "I am sickened by what I heard today,” adding, “Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified.”
“I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests," Ryan added.
Ryan speaks to the media during his weekly media briefing on Capitol Hill September 29, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)
Trump issued a statement following the leaked audio, saying, "This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago.”
“Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course - not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended," he added.
Clinton has increased her attacks on the real estate tycoon because of his behavior toward women.
He has also been under attack over his disparaging comments on immigrants and Muslims.
He has called for all Muslims to be banned from coming to America. He also advocated forced deportation of Mexican migrants by building a long wall along the US-Mexico border.
A new Reuters/Ipsos national tracking poll released Friday shows that Clinton is leading Trump by 5 percent, 43 to 38, among likely voters.
The survey is consistent with other Reuters/Ipsos weekly polls conducted since early September that have indicated the former secretary of state leading the business mogul anywhere from 4 to 6 points.
The poll, which was conducted from Sept. 30 to Oct. 6, surveyed 1,695 likely voters.
Trump speaks as Clinton listens during their first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, September 26, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)
The poll came after the first presidential debate, when Clinton accused Trump of racism, sexism and tax avoidance, putting him on the defensive.
Many observers believe Trump must win at the second presidential debate on Sunday if he is to regain the momentum in the race.