While the audio of Donald Trump making lewd remarks about women sparked a storm of criticism, a number of celebrities and fellow politicians leaped to his defense overnight.
"Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson said that evangelical leaders who have come out against Trump, “need to lighten up … and give him some time.”
In a Friday night interview with WABC Radio Host Rita Cosby, the reality TV show star enthusiastically defended Trump, adding "he's a sinner, that's a start" and calling for people "not condemn anybody."
He also took the tack other Trump’s defenders had adopted: Diverting attacks to Democrats — and Bill and Hillary Clinton in particular.
"That's about the most ungodly bunch I've ever seen," Robertson said of Trump’s opponents.
Faith and Freedom Coalition President Ralph Reed and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins also continued to back the presidential candidate, BuzzFeed News reported.
“Voters of faith are voting on issues like who will protect unborn life, defend religious freedom, create jobs, and oppose the Iran nuclear deal,” Reed told the media outlet in an email. “Ten-year-old tapes of private conversation with a television talk show host rank very low on their hierarchy of concerns.”
Conservative commentator Pastor Mark Burns turned to scripture and urged forgiveness, saying in part that Trump had “repented and God has forgiven him...so should you.”
Republican businessman Paul Nehlen, who lost to House Speaker Paul Ryan in the Wisconsin primary, also defended Trump before diverting attention to claims that Bill Clinton raped a woman and that Hillary Clinton bullied women.
“Trump loves women. Clintons rape and batter them,” he tweeted, also retweeting an allegation by Juanita Broderick that Bill Clinton had raped her. The Clintons have hit back against what they call the "relentless personal attacks."
Nehlen also took aim at Ryan and Republican chairman Reince Priebus.
Ryan and Preibus had been quick to condemn and distance themselves from the presidential nominee. Some Republicans, including Utah’s Rep. Jason Chaffetz and former Gov. Jon Huntsman, have gone so far as to withdraw their endorsements.
Some of Trump’s most ardent supporters did not defend the candidate's comments but instead turned their attention to attacking the Clintons.
"Clearly this is not how women should be spoken about but we're not choosing a Sunday school teacher here,” said former Trump top aide Corey Lewandowski on CNN. "Is this defensible? Absolutely not."
Lewandowski also added: "He speaks from the heart...he speaks the way many people speak around the dinner table.”
Meanwhile, Fox News host Sean Hannity came out against Trump’s remarks but also turned his attention to the Clintons. “You can’t defend, it is wrong it is inappropriate it is outrageous, I don’t think anyone is going to argue about that,” he said.
Hannity’s guest on the show, television personality and judge Jeanine Pirro, called the comments “shameful” and “horrific.”
“But when you juxtapose words against the actions of a woman who sold arms to ISIS, against the actions of a woman whose life was the destroy the women who was victimized by her husband,” she added.
Patrick Walsh, a member of Trump’s Catholic advisory committee, continued to defend Trump.
And Trump's apology also appeared to go a long way for the group Students For Trump, which called it “an excellent statement” in a tweet. The group also added “Remember- he is fighting for us.”