SALT LAKE CITY — The chairman of Utah’s Republican Party is sticking by Donald Trump even though a number of Utah’s top GOP officials are withdrawing their support for Trump and calling for him to withdraw.

James Evans said in a statement Monday that Trump’s lewd, sexually charged comments in a 2005 “Access Hollywood” video were made “when he was in the environment of Hollywood and the political left.”

Evans said Trump has apologized and said his heart has changed and is now a better person. Evans said he supports Trump but condemns the comments he made in the tape.

The chairman’s defense of Trump is a departure from Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, U.S. Reps. Mia Love and Jason Chaffetz and U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, all Republicans who have either revoked their endorsement of Trump or called for him to step down.