The floodgates are opening with prominent Republicans calling on Trump to step down

Calls for Donald Trump to remove himself from the presidential race rushed in late Friday and into Saturday morning from prominent Republican officials.

The last couple weeks for the real-estate businessman have gone from disappointing to near-apocalyptic.

Now, a bombshell audio recording that is shaping up to be the GOP nominee’s biggest campaign scandal has forced some Republicans to hit the panic button.

GOP Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois said on Friday Trump “should drop out” and the Republican National Committee “should engage rules for emergency replacement.”

Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, whom Trump recently named as a potential Supreme Court nominee, echoed Kirk.

“I wouldn’t hire that person,” Lee said, referring to Trump in a video posted to Facebook.

Here’s more from Lee:

“The fact is, we have been asked to settle … on matters of great principle with our candidate for president of the United States. This can’t continue. … It is for that reason, Mr. Trump, that I respectfully ask you … to step aside. Step down. Allow someone else to carry the banner of these principles.”

Three-term Republican Gov. of New York and former 2016 presidential candidate George Pataki tweeted: “[Trump’s] campaign is a poisonous mix of bigotry and ignorance. Enough! He needs to step down.”

A.J. Spiker, a former Iowa GOP chair and adviser to Sen. Rand Paul’s PAC, said Trump was “unfit for public office.” “Donald Trump should resign as the Republican nominee for president,” he tweeted.

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman also said Trump should drop out of the race, The Salt Lake City Tribune reported. Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia said Trump “should step aside and allow our party to replace him.”

“This is disgusting, vile, and disqualifying. No woman should ever be subjected to this type of obscene behaviour and it is unbecoming of anybody seeking high office,” Comstock said in her statement.

Rebecca Harrington, Allan Smith, and Brett LoGiurato contributed to this report.

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