A top Johnson County Republican went viral Monday after she tried to defend embattled GOP nominee Donald Trump by bringing up abortion and former president Bill Clinton’s past.
During a brief interview with CNN’s Brooke Baldwin, Vicki Sciolaro, chairwoman of the 3rd Congressional District for the Kansas Republican Party, said Trump’s recently released comments about women should play no role in the presidential campaign.
Sciolaro’s comments came after an 11-year-old video surfaced of Trump making sexually aggressive comments about women, including statements referring to acts that would amount to sexual assault. Dozens of Republicans across the country condemned Trump, with some, including Arizona’s Sen. John McCain, pulling their support for him.
Trump’s comments were offensive, Sciolaro said, but also irrelevant.
“I hear you, I hear you, I hear you, he is bragging, but here’s the thing, why is it an issue now? It should not be an issue now,” she said.
She then began talking about Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court abortion case.
“Hillary Clinton doesn’t care about murdering babies, dismembering abortions, that’s OK with her,” she said, before Baldwin tried to re-direct her to Trump’s comments.
“Is it OK that a man who wants to be the president of the free world is bragging, and admits to it, yes, he’s apologized, to sexual assault?” Baldwin asked.
“That is wrong, absolutely,” Sciolaro said. “But here’s the thing, he’s not running to be the pope!”
Trump is “the kind of person that needs to lead our country,” she said. “God can use anybody. He used the harlots. And that’s the thing, it’s all about what God can do. God can do this. God can use this man.”
After another question, she attacked Bill Clinton’s time in the Oval Office, saying his scandals led her children to think it was “the oral office.”
A clearly stunned Baldwin ended the segment by saying, “Welcome to 2016.”
Sciolaro was a Kansas delegate pledged to Ted Cruz at this year’s Republican National Convention. She has supported Kansas Congressman Kevin Yoder before, and was part of a “Women for Yoder Coalition” in 2014.
After the Trump tape was released, Yoder, who represents the 3rd District, released a statement saying that Trump’s comments were “disgusting and offensive.”
In a statement, Kansas GOP executive director Clay Barker distanced the party from Sciolaro’s comments.
“Ms. Sciolaro was providing her own personal opinions as a supporter of Donald J. Trump for President and was not speaking on behalf of the Kansas Republican Party or any campaign,” Barker wrote in an email.