Billy Bush: the Access Hollywood tape is real, Donald Trump really said that

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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.

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.

[From WaPo]

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.

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57 Responses to “Billy Bush: the Access Hollywood tape is real, Donald Trump really said that”

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  1. RBC says:

    I am rather surprised the outtakes from “ The Apprentice “ have not been leaked yet.

    • H says:

      Mark Burnett, who owns that show, is a Bible thumper who is a Trump supporter. Those tapes won’t be released unless someone does it illegally, against a NDA.

      • Jayna says:

        Mark didn’t vote for Trump and publicly was never a Trump supporter, disavowed his “hatred, division and misogyny” back in 2016. He had been a supporter of Barack Obama during both runs for office. Many Democrats are Christians. I don’t t know where people get the idea they aren’t.

        I am surprised more women haven’t come forward on Trump.

      • Betsy says:

        @Jayna – I’m not sure that that’s right at all, about Burnett being a never-Trumper, but I don’t feel like searching.

        And can you really blame further victims for not coming forward? The character assassination, the doxxing and consequent stalking by neo Nazis who think that the bloated orange chimp is the second coming, having to publicly share their victimization at the hands of that creep…. I wish they would come forward, too, but I really can’t fault them for not. Especially when Trump was credibly accused of raping a teen and he felt ZERO consequences.

      • jwoolman says:

        Maybe as Mueller gets closer to the Trumpster, someone will get angry enough about how Donald is wiggling out of consequences and release those tapes.

        I think at least 19 women have come forward with their stories about Trump. Considering how hard that is to do, that’s a significant number. Of course, tip of the iceberg and all that.

    • boredblond says:

      Ah yes..remember the celebs (Patton Oswald was one) that claimed those tapes were being leaked last year? Never gonna heroes in H’wood.

    • dappadaph says:

      The only thing Mark Burnett ‘worships’ is the ALMIGHTY DOLLAR SIGN.

  2. Beth says:

    Of course it was the “pussy grabber” being recorded. Does Trump forget that he publicly admitted it and “apologized” for his locker room talk?

  3. Starfish says:

    We are now at the point when Billy Bush is coming from better morals than the President of the United States. People can change and evolve to be better so good on him for writing this.

  4. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Of course he said it. The thing that’s incredulous is how Man-bear-pig thinks he can simply lie, make things up and generally gaslight the masses. He’s truly mental.

  5. grabbyhands says:

    I would have to slightly disagree. He may be somewhat genuinely remorseful about his past behavior. Mostly thought I think he’s just pissed that out of the two of them, he’s the one that suffered all the consequences even though not only did 45 barely apologize at the time, now he’s trying to deny it was him at all.

    Also, I imagine he’s probably a little grateful that while 45 has turned out to be an even worse monster than people had feared, at least all the insanity has taken some of attention off what an enabling douchebag Bush was in this incident.

    • Nanny to the Rescue says:

      Even worse for Bush, Trump saying the tape is fake makes it look like it was Bush (with his team) who faked it. He’s being made into a much greater, more sinister and a very calculating villain. It’s very Trump-like, throwing some rando under the bus, but it’s not a pleasant thing being this rando. He’s pissed. As he should be.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      I think it can be both. He is most likely legitimately outraged that the guy who actually said those things became the Prez while the one who played along lost his career. While I don’t feel sorry for him, I understand that it’s insane.

      But it is also absolutely possible that – especially during the last few months – he’s begun to see his part in all of this through another lens. I don’t know the guy, he might just be good at PR and playing the remorseful dude. He might, however, also have started to see why it was such a horrific incident and why it was neither out of the ordinary (for Trump or men in general) nor harmless in any way, shape, or form.

      I’m being uncharacteristically optimistic today. It’ll last until tonight I suspect.

      • jwoolman says:

        His older daughter was very clear about how she felt so disappointed in him. That really affected him, I think. The trust of a teenager is fragile enough…

        He was rather astonishingly forthright in this piece. I think his words may have an impact on people who wouldn’t pay attention to many others.

      • magnoliarose says:

        I think he learned a hard life lesson that was legit a little unfair in the long run. But that is part of the hard lesson.
        It would be devastating to have your child be ashamed of you. Not just embarrassed that you wore something stupid but downright ashamed.

        There are a lot of people learning painful lessons this year I think.

    • noway says:

      Enabling douchebag, Really? How was Billy Bush enabling? In 2005 the power was and obviously still is with Trump not Billy Bush. This is how a power struggle works, people kiss ass above them, sometimes by just fawning over the person above them. Sometimes they do it by other ways too. Not a Billy Bush fan, but all he did was laugh. Granted this is not good behavior, but if he had spoken up do you honestly think Trump would have stopped? Yes it would have been better for Billy Bush, but still no punishment for Trump. My problem is if we wanted to rehabilitate someone why don’t we rehabilitate the one who was laughing and punish the one who said and did the act. Instead Billy Bush was punished, and in the grand scheme of things is this helpful. No we still have the Pu*(&( grabber in the highest office in the land.

      • Nica says:

        He didn’t just laugh.

        “How about a little hug for the Donald, he’s just off the bus.” That was said by Billy Bush to Adrianne Zucker – the woman that Trump was talking about when he made the ‘grab them by the pussy’ comment – just as they reached her a few moments after Trump made the comment.

        Then he asks for a hug for himself. “How about a little hug for the bushy, I just got off the bus…” And there’s more of that grossness throughout the conversation.

        Read the transcript.

        Obviously Trump is a misogynistic ass. But Billy Bush did not just laugh. He fully egged him on and then proceeded to get more asshole points by trying to get Zucker to hug first Trump and then him.

      • noway says:

        Okay I may have understated but you are over stating. My point is we are going to punish the person who didn’t grab you by the P()*)y but went along with the person saying it, and we aren’t going to punish the person who said and according to a bunch of women did it. Plus, Billy Bush’s dismissal means little in society, whereas, Donald Trump who is more than just a misogynistic ass can pretty much destroy the world. I just feel like people are getting angry at everything and ignoring the big picture.

    • holly hobby says:

      I’m pretty sure he’s sorry. His wife filed for divorce this year. I guess they didn’t recover from that. The thing is he didn’t have to say anything or comment about this. He has nothing to lose or prove at this point. The fact that he did says a lot.

      I bet Thanksgiving at Cousin Jeb’s was uncomfortable for him.

  6. Alexandria says:

    At this point I would like to ask, which utterings from Trump has even been proven to be true??? His resilience and the tolerance of everything he says and does is UNBELIEVABLE! We all know a woman or poc couldn’t get away with even one rumour!

  7. Eric says:

    It’s a true pity that Mr Mueller, our man of the year, can’t interview a sitting president. Just a few questions? About Miss Hungary?

    We’d like to establish a baseline bullshit detector. And see whether you’d lie to federal agents.

    Pretty please?

  8. Eric says:

    Pussy-grabber… pedophile. Pedophile, pussy-grabber.

    Emperor Zero openly endorses Moore for AL senate seat.

  9. Hands Up says:

    Billy Bush is on his “Ahhhhhhh I don’t look so bad now, do I?” tour.

  10. Barrett says:

    I’m glad billy is speaking up ab Trump. I take it w a grain of salt that due to human nature, he’s not also out partly for himself. Reimagine, comeback.

    • jwoolman says:

      Of course some of it is personal. Trump has accused him and the rest of the crew of faking or altering the tape. He has every right to feel attacked and to feel he needs to remind people that there are several witnesses to the fact that Trump did indeed say those things and that is indeed Trump’s voice on that tape.

      But Billy did not have to go further than that. He clearly said that he believes the women who have accused Trump and no longer believes that Trump was just exaggerating. Now he believes Trump did exactly as those women describe, and that Trump was not exaggerating in the slightest. That’s really important, and he did not have to add that in order to defend the authenticity of the tape.

      We also have Trump bragging about being able to walk in on undressed pageant participants in at least one Stern interview and the participants complained about it. His daughter was doing some public job at the pageant when she was a young teenager, and I remember when she was asked about complaints that her father walked in on them in the dressing room she said “Oh, he does that all the time.” I doubt that she meant just at the pageant.

  11. Tx_mom says:

    I don’t know how sincere Bush’s regrets are, but I can imagine how mad I would be if my career had been destroyed by an a—hole’s gross talk, and then that a—hole started spinning a story about it being all made up. I’ll bet Bush sincerely regrets not saying something at the time, of only because of how this bit him in the a—.

    • noway says:

      This 100%!!!!!! The only thing I think people need to understand especially in media it is all about who you know and sucking up, as it is in a lot of industries. Billy Bush was newer, and Trump in 2005 was the star. The power dynamic makes it hard to stand up sometimes. This is the dynamic in a lot of the sexual harassment charges and why people don’t say anything, both the victims and co-workers. That is why I get more upset about the people in charge who had the power to change it, the executives or the Mark Burnett’s of the world. People of lower or same level may not have helped, but even if they did try it would most likely be ignored. This is part of the putting your head in the sand culture we live in now.

    • holly hobby says:

      I think I read somewhere that Billy got his job because he’s good at schmoozing. At the time Orange Lizard was NBC’s piggy bank (literally he was bringing in the money) so AH assigned Billy to tail this jerk because Billy is good at sucking up without throwing up.

  12. lightpurple says:

    Someone needs to inform Orange Voldy that taped voices can be verified.

  13. ALLY says:

    No one would be mad at Billy Bush, nor would he be fired, if he had just laughed along nervously with a powerful network actor (Trump plays a successful businessman on TV).

    It’s the fact that when they got off the bus, having heard that disgusting, pathetic d-measuring spiel, he needlessly and ingratiatingly took the initiative of pimping for Trump by asking the actress to hug the Cheeto-in-chief. At that point he joined at entry level the same club as Brett Ratner and that director creep who supplied dates/victims to Ed Westwick.

    Appreciate him testifying to the truth, but it’s the bare minimum. To quote one of my favorite movie lines, from Quiz Show: “one does not praise a grown man for at long last doing the right thing.”

  14. jwoolman says:

    I think Billy is sincere also. Probably a turning point for him was when his daughter expressed such disappointment in him. Good for him coming out now to refute Trump’s latest nonsense about it. And he did better than that- he made it clear that although at the time they thought Trump was exaggerating to puff himself up, after the accusations by many women he realizes it was actually a truthful admission of guilt. So he’s brought Trump’s real sexual predation out into public view again.

  15. Tess says:

    If I was a piece of crap, I too would be very angry that I got fired for chortling and egging him on, while the piece of crap who actually said those things went on to “success” and was trying to play off like everything is a massive conspiracy to frame him for something. He said it and he admitted it, end of story.

  16. HoustonGrl says:

    I can’t believe we’re at a point where we’re debating the truth about comments recorded ON CAMERA.

    • jwoolman says:

      This is how Trump and Pence have always operated, denying things that we have on record. Remember the Vice Presidential debate? Kaine kept quoting Trump directly and accurately, and Pence kept smirking and shaking his head, saying Trump didn’t say that. But Trump did say those things and I saw and heard him myself. Probably Pence was even on stage with Trump when he said some of those things.

      It was so ridiculous that the only reason I continued to watch that debate was to watch the kitten focus group. Yup, a bunch of shelter kittens were placed in a room with a big TV set and their interest in the proceedings (and who stayed within the red or blue lines) was observed. Only one kitten seemed truly interested in the tv, though. I think all the kittens were independents.

      Trump frequently completely contradicts himself and then people come up with video or tweets from his past to prove it. Doesn’t seem to make a dent in his behavior or support, though.

  17. Brittney B. says:

    …so does anyone know why Billy Bush’s Twitter account was suspended? Pretty shady.

  18. Lilith says:

    BB is pretty repugnant as well, given the way he played along with trump so willingly on the tape.
    That said, I’m glad that he has decided to speak out against trump’s delusional, dangerous lies. It sounds like B.B. has reflected quite a bit on his own behavior. Hopefully he is changed for the better.

  19. Shannon says:

    I feel for him to a certain extent because I’ve been in that position; there’s a power inbalance and everyone wants to think they’d be the hero, but when it comes down to a split second choice between your livelihood and integrity, that’s not an easy choice to make. So I’ve grinned and gritted my teeth before and hated myself after. But asking her to give hugs? Really?

  20. OT Hush says:

    BB lost his job so it’s only fair that prez Cheeto should lose his.