After yet another controversy engulfed Donald Trump’s White House bid, the Yale College Republicans said they will continue to endorse the GOP presidential nominee, even as dozens of Republicans across the nation disavow his candidacy.

On Friday, the release of a 2005 video in which Trump bragged about groping women plunged the GOP nominee’s candidacy into chaos. In the last two days, more than 40 Republican leaders have publicly disavowed Trump, according to a tally in The New York Times. Even before the latest episode in Trump’s divisive campaign, several student groups affiliated with the national College Republicans organization, including the Harvard Republican Club, had already refused to endorse the candidate. On Saturday, the chairwoman of the College National Republican Committee, Alexandra Smith, announced in a tweet that she would not be supporting Trump.

But the co-presidents of the Yale College Republicans, which formally endorsed Trump in August, told the News on Saturday night that they will continue to back the candidate.

“The endorsement of the GOP candidate by an official branch of the GOP will not be changing,” said co-president Michaela Cloutier ’18, adding that members of the Yale chapter “of course have a variety of opinions” on Trump.

The continued support for Trump was not unanimous across the group.

“Trump’s comments are quite clearly atrocious and reprehensible,” said Ben Mallet ’19, a member of the Yale College Republicans. “He should withdraw from the presidential race immediately.”

After the endorsement was announced in August, four board members of the Yale College Republicans disaffiliated from the group to form the Yale New Republicans, a group that does not support Trump. Benjamin Rasmussen ’18, one of the members who left in protest, said he was not surprised that the Yale College Republicans elected to stick with Trump, who has made derogatory comments about women and minority groups throughout the campaign.

“YCR’s only real defense of Trump has been that he is a Republican and that they are obligated to support Republicans up and down the ballot,” Rasmussen said. “Trump could say just about anything and retain YCR’s endorsement, so long as he keeps the Republican label attached to his name.”

In an interview with the News, former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean ’71, a senior fellow at Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, called the tape “shocking” and said “there is little precedent for anything Donald Trump has done in the last 15 months.”

He added that the Republican candidates who continue to support Trump are doing so for political reasons, not because they care about serving the country.

Still, the Yale College Republicans are not alone in their support for Trump. On many college campuses, students have rallied behind the GOP nominee, despite his widespread unpopularity among millennials. Students for Trump, a national organization, has nearly 50 chapters listed on its website, including groups at Harvard and the University of Washington.

But for many Republican politicians, the video, in which Trump says he could “grab [women] by the p—y” because of his star status, was the final straw in persuading them to abandon Trump after a long campaign of petty taunts and relentless controversy. On Friday, Trump apologized for his comments — but that was not enough to stop dozens of Republicans nationwide, including Republican senator and former GOP presidential nominee John McCain, from denouncing his candidacy.

At Yale, students have reacted to Trump’s comments with similar outrage. In a statement, Anthony D’Ambrosio ’18 and Helen Price ’18, co-presidents of Unite Against Sexual Assault Yale, called Trump’s comments “utterly disgusting.”

“It is beyond troubling that a contender for president of the United States holds such clear and vehement disdain towards women,” the statement read. “‘Grabbing’ a woman’s genitals without her expressed consent is predatory and sickening behavior.”

In a statement Sunday night, the Yale College Democrats called on their Republican counterparts to abandon Trump after his “morally indefensible” comments.

Will McGrew ’18, vice president of Yale Students for Hillary, said that any group still endorsing Trump should “rethink what their commitments are and why they’re engaging in political debate.” He added that the Trump tape reaffirms the urgency of voting for Hillary Clinton in the general election.

The general election is on Nov. 8, and absentee ballots have already begun to go out.

  • J. Gatsby

    What’s the fuss? Trump is simply practicing the social liberalism Yale College Democrats have been advocating. Have we all abandoned nonjudgmentalism?

  • Ralphiec88

    The Yale College Republicans really need to re-think their mission if they are to remain relevant. For example:

    – If they endorse anyone with an R after their name, then their endorsement is meaningless.

    – YCR’s website states “The Yale College Republicans is the only Yale student organization dedicated to conservative political activism. For God, for country, and for Yale.” No one can credibly call Trump a conservative. “For God”? Might be time to dust off the Ten Commandments, and by the way, when was the last time Trump was in a church when there wasn’t a camera around?. “For Yale” seems a bit silly in this context, but would Trump really be more effective than Clinton LAW?

    – Finally the statement: “The endorsement of the GOP candidate by an official branch of the GOP will not be changing” seems pretty mindless. Does that mean you support Trump? Or you feel you have to support him? Or you don’t care as long as he has an R after his name?

    I’d like to think the Yale Campus Republicans could live up to something more simple and honest. Perhaps revive that “dedicated to conservative activism” mission. Maybe the New Republicans will do just that.

  • ggc

    If any further proof was need that William F. Buckley style conservatism is just as morally bankrupt; only shielded by a thin veneer of respectability and supposed sophistication. Thanks Mr. Trump for showing us the tree’s rotten wood beneath.

  • Kira

    Which would be more “morally indefensible”? A: Talking about doing something indefensible like sexual assault. or B: Actually committing an act that trashes the Rule of Law our nation stands upon, such as by destroying emails under subpoena? There’s a big difference. Again, if I say I’d like to kill someone, that’s very offensive. Actually doing it is murder. It’s a lot worse (duh). It can still be argued that the College Republicans should disavow Trump, but the College Democrats should, first and without having to think too hard, disavow Hillary Clinton.

    • asdf

      Also, which is worse: private locker room banter or laughing about the rape of a twelve-year-old girl in an interview? Hillary lives in a glass house.

      And by the way, the YCR were wise to stick by Trump given the masterfully thorough beat-down he administered to Crooked at the debate.

      • Ralphiec88

        Sigh. Hillary did not laugh about the rape. Get real.

        • asdf

          Hillary Clinton Laughs While Discussing Defense of Child Rapist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tor00iWUhDQ

          • Ralphiec88

            Hillary did laugh during a discussion of that trial. That’s not the same as laughing about he rape. People laugh at funerals, people laughed at times in the jury room when I served on a jury that convicted a man of child assault. You have no idea what that’s like, it’s so extreme your mind can barely comprehend it. I would say kudos to Hillary for convincing her client to take a polygraph that should have buried him. Unfortunately some psychopaths can pass polygraphs as she discovered.

  • asdf

    No. I think Trump made some coarse jokes eleven years ago and I couldn’t care less. There’s only one viable candidate who’s going to secure the border, and it’s not Hillary.

  • Red_Ivy

    Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have a conservative IVY league school? Schools like Yale do not allow discourse. They are antithetical to true liberalism.