Washington: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has said he can't recall using words such as "dog," ''fat" and "disgusting" to insult women he believes have slighted him, but such language litters his Twitter feed and other public comments he's made for years.
The issue took centre stage at the first Republican debate of the 2016 campaign for president, when Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly asked Trump about his use of such language and whether it reflected the "temperament of a man we should elect as president."
Trump largely dismissed Kelly's question at the debate, but yesterday he went directly after her.
Before dawn, he had retweeted a post calling Kelly a "bimbo." The post was later deleted, but yesterday evening Trump called Kelly a "lightweight."
"She's not very tough and not very sharp," Trump said during a phone interview on CNN. "I don't respect her as a journalist."
Referring to Kelly's questions during the debate, Trump said, "There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever."
Citing that remark, conservative commentator Erick Erickson said he was withdrawing his invitation for Trump to appear at his RedState Gathering in Atlanta today. "I just don't want someone on stage who gets a hostile question from a lady and his first inclination is to imply it was hormonal," Erickson wrote on the RedState website last night.
"It just was wrong."
Trump's campaign responded: "This is just another example of weakness through being politically correct. For all of the people who were looking forward to Mr Trump coming, we will miss you. Blame Erick Erickson, your weak and pathetic leader."
In a series of interviews earlier yesterday on network television, the billionaire businessman questioned whether he had actually used the words as Kelly had alleged during the debate.
"You know, some of the statements she made about the women, I don't recognize those words whatsoever," Trump said on ABC's "Good Morning America." ''We're going to take a very serious look at it."
Trump has a long history of lobbing insults at those he feels have treated him unfairly, and advises those who buy his books to do the same.