Hillary Clinton branded his comments as "horrific"
Donald Trump has apologised after a video emerged in which he makes lewd, sexually explicit comments about women.
Following the release of the 2005 recording, the Republican presidential hopeful initially said he was sorry "if anyone was offended" over what he called "locker room banter".
However, in the face of a fierce backlash, Mr Trump issued a more forthright video apology in which he said: "I've said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them.
"Anyone who knows me knows these words don't reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong and I apologise.
"I pledge to be a better man tomorrow and will never, ever let you down."
However, he also sought to dismiss the revelations as "nothing more than a distraction" from other issues facing the country and renewed his attack on his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton ahead of the second presidential debate on Sunday.
Here is my statement. pic.twitter.com/WAZiGoQqMQ— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2016
The candidate has been savaged by senior Republican figures over the footage obtained by the Washington Post.
The party's top elected official, House Speaker Paul Ryan has said he was "sickened" by Mr Trump's crude language and called on him to show greater respect for women.
The furore over the recording has led Mr Trump to announce his running mate Mike Pence would now represent him at the campaign event in Wisconsin on Saturday.
The tycoon was caught on a live microphone as he arrived on the set of daytime soap opera 'Days Of Our Lives' for the taping of a segment in which he was to have a cameo.
He was telling Billy Bush of the celebrity show Access Hollywood about a woman he tried to seduce.
He is heard to say: "I did try and f*** her. She was married.
"I moved on her like a b****, but I couldn't get there."
He also brags about women letting him kiss and grope them because he is famous.
Mr Trump said: "I just start kissing them. And when you're a star they let you do it.
"Grab them by the p****. You can do anything."
Mrs Clinton wrote on Twitter: "This is horrific. We cannot allow this man to become president."
She has said Mr Trump has shown a lack of respect for women, noting during the first debate he insulted a former Miss Universe.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus was among those to criticise Mr Trump.
Mr Priebus, who has been a champion of the billionaire businessman's campaign and was due to appear with Mr Trump in Wisconsin on Saturday, said in a statement: "No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever."
Mr Ryan said: "I am sickened by what I heard today. Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified.
"I hope Mr Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests."
Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte described the comments as "totally inappropriate and offensive".