On Sunday, disgraced Today show Billy Bush published a New York Times op-ed confirming that the notorious Donald Trump “grab ‘em by the pussy” Access Hollywood tape is genuine. In a column titled “Yes, Donald Trump, You Said That,” Bush responded to a New York Times report claiming that the president told a senator that he thinks the 2005 hot mic recording was fake despite the fact that Trump explicitly apologized for his remarks in a video statement released last October.
Bush, of all people, should know the tape is real given how he lost a lucrative gig hosting the 9 a.m hour of the Today show shortly after the recording of him playing wingman to a guy bragging about committing sexual assault went public. Over a year after the tape’s release, President Trump is sitting in the Oval Office while Bush is still unemployed.
He said it. “Grab ’em by the pussy.”
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.
We now know better.
Bush then gives excuses for encouraging Trump’s behavior because ingratiating himself to celebrity guests was crucial to his career advancement. He also explains that he believes the Trump sexual assault accusers because they allege that Trump did exactly what he was describing in the tape to them.
Some of what Natasha Stoynoff, Rachel Crooks, Jessica Leeds and Jill Harth alleged involved forceful kissing. Ms. Harth said he pushed her up against a wall, with his hands all over her, trying to kiss her.
“He was relentless,” she said. “I didn’t know how to handle it.” Her story makes the whole “better use some Tic Tacs” and “just start kissing them” routine real. I believe her.
Kristin Anderson said that Mr. Trump reached under her skirt and “touched her vagina through her underwear” while they were at a New York nightclub in the 1990s. That makes the “grab ’em by the pussy” routine real. I believe her.
In response to a tweet pointing out that eight people witnessed Trump make the “grab em by the pussy” comment, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman shared an account alleging that he confirmed the tape’s veracity when then campaign staffer and now White House communications director Hope Hicks interrupted debate prep with the Washington Post query.
When debate prep was interrupted Bc Hope Hicks had a query from wapo, Trump said it didn’t sound like something he’d say. Then he heard the audio and said, “Uh oh, it’s me,” per ppl there https://t.co/h3Z65yFhG1
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) December 4, 2017
Uh oh, indeed.