In 2005, Billy Bush was sent on an inglorious assignment as host of Access Hollywood: get the reality host of The Apprentice, Donald Trump, to travel to a soap opera set and meet some of the soap opera stars. Trump and Bush’s microphones were attached early, because part of the set up of the segment included the Access Hollywood van rolling up to the set, and Trump and Bush being greeted by Arianne Zucker, one of the actresses. Their microphones were live for the entire van ride to the set, and that was how the infamous “grab ‘em by the p-ssy” comments were recorded. It took until 2016 for the tape to come out, and it was not in any way released with NBC corporate’s knowledge. It was released because someone – likely at Access Hollywood – had some sense of morals and integrity.
Trump released a surly apology for the tape last year. Bush lost his job at NBC. Trump was elected #NotMyPresident. In the past few weeks, there have been several major stories in the New York Times and Washington Post about how Trump has – privately and delusionally – tried to spin conspiracy theories about how that wasn’t really his voice on the tape, that perhaps the tape had been manipulated. Now Billy Bush has crawled out from under his shame rock to set the record straight: the tape is real. Trump really said that sh-t.
Well, you asked…https://t.co/dvEJiMx47X
— Billy Bush (@TheBillyBush) December 4, 2017
Billy Bush, the former “Access Hollywood” host, has responded to recent reports that President Trump has questioned the authenticity of video in which he can be heard bragging about grabbing women by their genitalia, saying: “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.”
In a commentary Sunday for the New York Times, Bush said he was disturbed by reports from the past week that Trump has told allies and at least one senator that he may not be the voice on the 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape.
“He said it,” Bush wrote, referring to Trump’s now infamous “grab them by the p—-” remark made on an “Access Hollywood” bus.
“Of course he said it,” Bush added. “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,” he added, referring to the women who came forward to accuse Trump of improper sexual advances.
Bush goes on to highlight the stories of some of the women who came out last year, in the wake of the Access Hollywood tape, to say that Trump wasn’t just “performing” his toxic masculinity in a bus full of dudes, that he was actually a serial sexual assailant. Bush writes repeatedly that he believes the women. Personally, I don’t think Billy Bush is out here writing op-eds because he’s aiming for a comeback or looking to score ally-points. I think he felt legitimately terrible about his role in the tape (as he should), and he lost his career (as he should) and that’s what had to happen. I think he’s just pissed off that Trump is really this f–king delusional. I think Bush is truly angry on behalf of the women Trump assaulted, because for years Bush didn’t believe the women, and now he does.
Photos courtesy of Getty.