In 2016, a recording between Donald Trump and Billy Bush of Access Hollywood surfaced in which Trump joked about forcing himself upon women. In October, Trump apologized for his comments, stating, “Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am,” he said. “I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.” As The New York Times shares, Trump has since questioned the authenticity of the tapes.
The Access Hollywood recordings came from a hot mic. The 2005 conversation that took place behind-the-scenes before Trump's scheduled appearance on the show.
Bush is speaking out and notes several witnesses who were at the incident. "He said it. 'Grab ’em by the pussy,'" he says in an op-ed in The New York Times. "Of course he said it. And we laughed along, without a single doubt that this was hypothetical hot air from America’s highest-rated bloviator. Along with Donald Trump and me, there were seven other guys present on the bus at the time, and every single one of us assumed we were listening to a crass standup act. He was performing. Surely, we thought, none of this was real." He continues, "We now know better."
Bush says that Trump is lying that the voice on the tape is not his. "President Trump is currently indulging in some revisionist history, reportedly telling allies, including at least one United States senator, that the voice on the tape is not his. This has hit a raw nerve in me."
He goes on to cite the numerous women who have come out with allegations of sexual abuse against Trump. "I can only imagine how it has reopened the wounds of the women who came forward with their stories about him, and did not receive enough attention. This country is currently trying to reconcile itself to years of power abuse and sexual misconduct. Its leader is wantonly poking the bear."
Bush was fired from his job on the Today show following the discovery of the tapes. He is slated to appear on Late Night With Stephen Colbert today.
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