Last week, the president claimed that it wasn’t his voice we heard on the now-infamous “Grab ’em by the pussy” Access Hollywood tape—suggesting that the audio was fake or doctored somehow. So Sunday, Billy Bush published an op-ed in the New York Times to say, “Of course he said it. And we laughed along.”
Bush was fired from the Today Show in 2016 after a previously unaired video, recorded while he was a co-anchor at Access Hollywood in 2005, leaked to the public. In the recording, the president makes lewd comments about how easy it is for him to force himself on women sexually in the workplace and Bush and his crew laugh along. At the time, Bush says, the comments seemed too ridiculous to be serious: “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.”
Bush wrote that he now thinks of his experience with the president much differently: “The man who once told me—ironically, in another off-camera conversation—after I called him out for inflating his ratings: ‘People will just believe you. You just tell them and they believe you,’ was, I thought, not a good choice to lead our country… 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.”
After the “Access Hollywood” tape came out, Billy Bush lost his job and @realdonaldtrump won the presidency. Since then, Trump has questioned whether the tape was real. Billy Bush in an op-ed tonight: “Of course he said it.” https://t.co/CQUdImRkFI
— Mark Berman (@markberman) December 4, 2017
Bush wrote that he hopes “the current media drama of who did what to whom will give way to a constructive dialogue between mature men and women in the workplace and beyond.” He also observes that this is a moment in American life that is “painful for many women” and commends them for their bravery in standing up to the president of the United States. Bush says he now knows “the anguish of being inexorably linked to Donald Trump.”
Bush will appear on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert Monday evening.
H/T New York Times