Donald Trump’s sexually aggressive comments about “grabbing [women] by the p***y” have seen Republican leaders withdraw their support for his campaign in their droves.
But while even the candidate’s own running mate, Mike Pence, has let it be known he is “beside himself” with anger at the Trump audio tapes released on Friday, there’s at least one high-profile fan who has decided against condemning the billionaire businessman.
In 50 tweets since the tapes emerged on Friday, Piers Morgan has yet to criticise Mr Trump's comments.
And he has condemned other public figures who have done so, even taking to task the official TicTac USA Twitter account for coming out with a statement on the matter.
And in one particularly ignominious exchange, Morgan clashed with the BBC rugby pundit Brian Moore over an article from April this year in which Morgan praised Mr Trump for being “extremely charming when he wanted to be, especially with the female contestants” on The Apprentice.
Morgan, who served as a Trump adviser on the reality show for a number of years, said women “like [Trump’s] swaggering self-confidence, his non-PC and non-politician style”.
“Many of them, including sports stars, actresses, supermodels and rock stars, ended up melting like fawning putty in Mr Trump’s famously delicate hands,” he wrote.
Moore suggested Morgan was a “shameless apologist” for Mr Trump, and that the audio tapes showed he had “got this one wrong”.
But Morgan hit back, saying: “Talking of shameless, I'd love to hear a hot mic from inside your old rugby dressing rooms. Would make Trump sound like a choirboy.”
After the TV presenter Richard Bacon asked if Morgan “still think[s] we’re overreacting” to Mr Trump, he replied: “Mate, does your nose ever bleed on that lofty moral/ethical plinth?”
Tony Blair’s former spin doctor Alastair Campbell put it to Morgan that Mr Trump was “not doing too well so far” at dealing with the crisis, to which Morgan replied: “At least he doesn't have to spin an illegal war.”
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
1/14 On Isis:
"Some of the candidates, they went in and didn’t know the air conditioner didn’t work and sweated like dogs, and they didn’t know the room was too big because they didn’t have anybody there. How are they going to beat ISIS?"
2/14 On immigration:
"I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me —and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."
3/14 On Free Trade:
"Free trade is terrible. Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people. But we have stupid people."
PAUL J. RICHARDS | AFP | Getty Images
4/14 On Mexicans:
"When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists."
5/14 On China:
"I just sold an apartment for $15 million to somebody from China. Am I supposed to dislike them?... I love China. The biggest bank in the world is from China. You know where their United States headquarters is located? In this building, in Trump Tower."
6/14 On work:
"If you're interested in 'balancing' work and pleasure, stop trying to balance them. Instead make your work more pleasurable."
7/14 On success:
"What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate."
8/14 On life:
"Everything in life is luck."
9/14 On ambition:
"You have to think anyway, so why not think big?"
10/14 On his opponents:
"Bush is totally in favour of Common Core. I don't see how he can possibly get the nomination. He's weak on immigration. He's in favour of Common Core. How the hell can you vote for this guy? You just can't do it."
11/14 On Obamacare:
"You have to be hit by a tractor, literally, a tractor, to use it, because the deductibles are so high. It's virtually useless. And remember the $5 billion web site?... I have so many web sites, I have them all over the place. I hire people, they do a web site. It costs me $3."
12/14 On Barack Obama:
"Obama is going to be out playing golf. He might be on one of my courses. I would invite him. I have the best courses in the world. I have one right next to the White House."
13/14 On himself:
"Love him or hate him, Trump is a man who is certain about what he wants and sets out to get it, no holds barred. Women find his power almost as much of a turn-on as his money."
14/14 On America:
"The American Dream is dead. But if I get elected president I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before and we will make America great again."
And when the ITV News presenter Mark Austin asked if Mr Trump should remain the Republican candidate in the wake of the tape scandal, Morgan said: “It doesn't matter what anyone thinks, too late for him to replaced & he'd never quit.”
In between the tweets attacking Mr Trump’s critics, Morgan did point out that the scandal is “very bad and potentially campaign-ending” for the candidate.
Morgan later wrote: “Not defending Trump at all. Just highlighting rank hypocrisy of Brian 'it's only harmless banter when rugby players say it' Moore.”Reuse content