In response to reports that President Donald Trump has bizarrely been attempting to convince his allies that the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape isn’t real, the former host of that show, Billy Bush, has penned an op-ed for the New York Times to push back on this new denial.
The videotape surfaced late in last year’s presidential campaign and showed Trump and Bush chatting on a bus before filming a 2005 episode of the show. Trump was depicted, among other things, bragging about hitting on married women and that women would let him “grab ’em by the p****” because he was famous.
Trump admitted he said those things in a videotaped apology, and even Trump’s former deputy campaign manager David Bossie said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” today that “It’s clear that it is,” Trump on the videotape.
“He said it,” say the first three words of Bush’s op-ed, reaffirming the obvious. Criticizing how Trump is “currently indulging in some revisionist history,” Bush says that it has “hit a raw nerve” in him.
Bush was fired from Access Hollywood shortly after the tape surfaced, in no small part because of criticism that he condoned, if not outright encouraged, Trump’s vulgar and misogynistic comments. He attempts to explain his role as “laugh[ing] along” with Trump, assuming it was “hypothetical hot air from America’s highest-rated bloviator,” and how his job role involved “establishing a strong rapport with celebrities.”
Was I acting out of self-interest? You bet I was. Was I alone? Far from it. With Mr. Trump’s outsized viewership back in 2005, everybody from Billy Bush on up to the top brass on the 52nd floor had to stroke the ego of the big cash cow along the way to higher earnings…all of us were guilty of sacrificing a bit of ourselves in the name of success.
Bush seems to be engaging in his own attempted career resuscitation: besides this op-ed, he is scheduled to appear on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Monday evening.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.