Obama blasts Republicans over continued support for Trump

US President Barack Obama slammed Republicans late Tuesday for continuing to support Donald Trump despite criticizing him for a leaked tape in which he boasted about sexually assaulting women, local media reported.

"You can't have it both ways here. You can't repeatedly denounce what is said by someone and then say 'but I'm still going to endorse him to be the most powerful person on the planet and to put them in charge,'" he said at an election rally in North Carolina, according to ABC News.

In the 2005 video published on Friday, Republican presidential candidate Trump bragged about grabbing women "by the pussy." He has since apologized and dismissed his comments as "locker room talk."

The scandal the tape unleashed has deepened the fracture within his party less than a month before the election, with dozens of senior Republicans withdrawing their support for him.

"You don't have to be a husband or a father to hear what we heard just a few days ago and say, 'that's not right'," Obama added. "You just have to be a decent human being to say that's not right.

"If it makes you mad, then you say that's not somebody I want representing the United States of America. You can do something about it, North Carolina!" Obama continued, urging the crowd to vote for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

In other campaign developments, Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, said Tuesday Russian intelligence officials were responsible for a breach of his personal email account.

Emails, which were obtained in the breach, were then published by the website WikiLeaks and included details about what Clinton told Wall Street banks in private speeches for which she earned hundreds of thousands of dollars.

"I've been involved in politics for nearly five decades," Podesta said in comments published by the New York Times. "This definitely is the first campaign that I've been involved with in which I've had to tangle with Russian intelligence agencies ... who seem to be doing everything that they can on behalf of our opponent."

WikiLeaks said on Twitter the released emails represented the first 2,050 documents of 50,000 it had hacked from Podesta, a longtime aide to Clinton and a White House chief of staff for Bill Clinton.

Podesta said it was no coincidence that the emails were leaked on the same day as the Trump video and suggested that Trump's campaign may have known in advance about the latest Wikileaks hack, the New York Times reported.

The emails appear to have been hacked from Podesta's Gmail account and span almost a decade.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been openly critical of Clinton. The site released hacked Democratic National Committee emails in July that US intelligence officials on Friday said were obtained by hackers under orders from the highest echelons in the Kremlin.

Last update: Wed, 12/10/2016 - 11:47

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