There have been some extraordinary 24-hour periods in recent American political history. Consider the chaos surrounding the 2000 presidential election, for example, or the 1998 impeachment crisis, when House Republicans forced one Speaker to resign, only to see his successor quit soon after.
But when it comes to campaign
history, Americans have probably never seen anything quite like the developments between Friday and Saturday afternoon.
As most of the planet has learned, Donald Trump was recorded in 2005 boasting about his romantic exploits
, which eventually led him to brag about committing sexual assaults. The Republican presidential candidate said, among other things, that he kisses women he considers beautiful -- "I don't even wait
," Trump claimed -- which he said he can get away with because of his public profile.
"And when you're a star, they let you do it," Trump said on the recording
. "You can do anything. Grab 'em by the p---y."
The GOP campaign issued a brief, wholly inadequate statement on Friday afternoon, which read, "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."
When this did little to calm the waters, Trump releaseed a hastily crafted video apology
in the middle of the night -- in which he dismissed the scandal as a "distraction," before again attacking the Clintons.
This, in turn, caused a wide variety of Republican officials
to reject Trump's presidential candidacy, and in the process, throw GOP politics into chaos.
There's no shortage of angles to this, but here's a quick rundown of some of the most notable: read more