Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said on social media Saturday morning that he will not vote for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, a day after video was released in which Trump boasted of groping women.
In a note posted to Twitter, Schwarzenegger, who took over for Trump this year as host of NBC’s “The Apprentice,” said it was the first time since he became a citizen of the United States in 1983 that he would not vote for the Republican candidate.
“As proud as I am to label myself a Republican, there is one label I hold above all else – American,” Schwarzenegger wrote.
On Friday, The Washington Post shared leaked audio of Trump talking with Billy Bush, then of “Access Hollywood,” in 2005, making vulgar comments about women and discussing his efforts to seduce a married woman.
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In the hours since, a growing number of Republican leaders have condemned Trump’s remarks, forcing the nominee to publicly reject calls for his withdrawal just a month before the presidential election.
At an anniversary celebration for his signature climate law in Sacramento on Wednesday, Schwarzenegger avoided answering questions about how he would vote. But he acknowledged Saturday morning that he is still conflicted about who he would vote for other than Trump.
“I still haven’t made up my mind about how exactly I will vote next month,” Schwarzenegger wrote on Twitter. “So I want to take a moment today to remind my fellow Republicans that it is not only acceptable to choose your country over your party – it is your duty.”
The action film star, who did not mention Trump’s lewd comments about women, faced criticism during the 2003 recall election to become California’s governor over accusations of sexually aggressive behavior. He won the election.
At the time, six women who had come into contact with Schwarzenegger on movie sets told the Los Angeles Times that he had touched them in a sexual manner without their consent. The incidents occurred in the 1970s and ’80s, and once in 2000, according to the women.
They described being groped by him in various ways – grabbing their breasts or reaching under the skirt of one. Schwarzenegger’s team first denied the claims, but the candidate then apologized, saying he had “behaved badly sometimes.”
Later, he said, “Those people that I have offended, I want to say to them I am deeply sorry about that and I apologize because that’s not what I’m trying to do.”
The Los Angeles Times contributed to this report.