Donald Trump campaigns in Tulsa last January. The Frontier found that 11 out of 151 state lawmakers had posted or re-posted comments about Trump’s statements. DYLAN GOFORTH/The Frontier

A day after scores of Republicans from across the country distanced themselves from Donald Trump, many Oklahoma GOP lawmakers appeared more concerned with the OU-Texas game or their own campaigns than with the leaked recordings of Trump making lewd comments about women.

The Frontier surveyed state lawmakers’ social media accounts and campaign websites to see they were reacting to a video in which the Republican presidential nominee made inappropriate sexual statements about women in 2005.

The Frontier found that 11 out of 151 state lawmakers had posted or re-posted comments about Trump’s statements. (Some social media accounts were not open to the public so the total could be higher.)

Gary Stanislawski, a Republican senator from Tulsa attended the Red River Rivalry, posted a picture from the sidelines and celebrated the win.

On Chad Caldwell’s Twitter page, the District 40 State Representative opted for a video of cartoon characters Spongebob Squarepants and Patrick making fun of the state of Texas rather than a comment on the Trump audio.

Michael Rogers, a Republican state representative from Tulsa and Wagoner counties, didn’t comment on Trump’s statement. However, the night after the audio was leaked, Rogers did post a link to a “bad lip reading” youtube video of the first presidential debate.

Three state senators (A.J. Griffin, R-Guthrie; Stephanie Bice, R-Oklahoma City; and David Holt, R-Oklahoma City) came out against Trump’s comments strongly. Griffin tweeted “When someone shows you who they really are — believe them,” then later clarified she was “speaking about the presidential candidates.”

Bice quoted a link to a story about the comments, which called them “inappropriate and offensive.” She said on top of the story “You don’t say?? …. SMDH,” (an abbreviation for shaking my damn head.)

Holt, who supported Marco Rubio’s presidential bid, has been strongly against Trump prior to the businessman becoming the republican nominee. Holt tweeted “As I’ve said for months, I have a daughter & couldn’t sleep at night if I voted for Trump. This monster deserves any judgment he receives.”

Another senator, Kyle Loveless, R-Oklahoma City, didn’t make a statement of his own, but retweeted several comments that were strongly against the Trump audio. One of the retweets was from Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who said he was “sickened” by Trump’s statements.

Seven of 101 state representatives made some form of statement on the Trump audio, and not all of them were met with support from their constituents.

George Faught, R-Muskogee, posted an image of Trump’s vice presidential nominee Mike Pence, and said “Just wishing the GOP presidential candidate could be.more like Mike.”


The only reply to the image was from a woman who warned him that not voting for Trump could alienate future voters.

“Rest assured GOP leaders you also will be wanting those same votes one day,” she said.

Democrats Scott Inman and Emily Virgin came out strongly on social media against Trump’s comments.

Other lawmakers were less forceful.

Tom Newell, R-Seminole, posted a link to a statement made by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who hedged and said that although Trump’s quotes were “deeply offensive and degrading,” the presidential nominee still would “do the least damage to our freedoms.”

Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, R-Oklahoma City, called for Trump to resign and cede the top of the GOP ticket to Pence. However, he also called on Clinton, “a corrupt and pathological liar” to resign as well.


U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, called Trump’s statements “disgusting and completely inappropriate.” However, he also noted that “The Supreme Court hangs in the balance.”

A Hillary Clinton presidency would undoubtedly lead to a nominee far to the left of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

It’s unclear what the apparent widespread silence from other lawmakers might mean. Many don’t appear to have social media accounts, or they have private Facebook and Twitter accounts the public cannot view.

After numerous requests to Gov. Mary Fallin for comment by The Frontier and others, the governor issued a statement on Twitter during the presidential debate. She said she was “disappointed and offended” by Trump’s comments but added: “I trust the American people to make the right decision.”

Fallin was rumored earlier in the year to possibly be in play as a vice president in the Trump campaign, and she has vocally supported Trump ever since. The Oklahoma governor flew to New York to meet with Trump in June, and a month later said he was running as “a racial healer.”

In August, Fallin told the Republican Women’s Club of Tulsa County that it was important that Trump “continues speaking truth to power, yet understand that as the nominee opponents will twist what he says.”

Fallin has been named to Trump’s advisory committee on agriculture, along with state Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese, Sen. Eddie Fields and Rep. Casey Murdock.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe told The Oklahoman that he will stand by Trump as the GOP nominee. In an awkward coincidence, Inhofe was named to Trump’s national security advisory team on Friday, the day news of the Trump video broke.

Inhofe hasn’t added his voice to the chorus of lawmakers who have distanced themselves from Trump.

However in 1999, Inhofe explained his vote on then-Pres. Bill Clinton’s impeachment this way:  “The other thing that concerns me is the reprehensible, consistent attitude this president has displayed over the years against women. ”

Brett Farley, director of communications for the Oklahoma Republican Party, resigned on Saturday after it became clear the Oklahoma Republican Party would not distance itself from Trump.

Pam Pollard, GOP Chairwoman, said over the weekend in a statement that Trump had made “disgustingly vile comments,” but didn’t clarify if she still supported the republican nominee.

“My only hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ and mornings like this make me want to spend the day on my knees in prayer that God may forgive Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and me and you,” she wrote.