In an op-ed for the New York Times, Billy Bush — a former NBC host and the interviewer behind Donald Trump’s Access Hollywood tape — stated that the president did in fact say the infamous “grab ’em by the pussy” remark, despite recent articles reporting that he is denying having said it.
“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,” wrote Bush.
Bush went on to say that he and and all the other men who heard Trump say it “now know better” — referencing the numerous allegations of sexual harassment and assault that have since been made against the president. As for Trump suggesting the Access Hollywood tape was fake, Bush referred to this as “revisionist history” and said the claim “hit a raw nerve in me.”
Considering Trump has already apologized for the comments over a year ago, it is unclear why he reportedly believes he can brush the incident off as a media fabrication now.
The now-fired NBC host attempted to justify his laughter at president’s lewd remarks and seeming admission to sexual assault by saying that — as an entertainment reporter — it was his job to get people like Trump to like him in exchange for exclusive interviews. Bush added that he received a raise that tripled his salary shortly after the 2005 incident.
“The key to succeeding in my line of work was establishing a strong rapport with celebrities. I did that, and was rewarded for it. My segments with Donald Trump when I was just a correspondent were part of the reason I got promoted,” said Bush.
He ended his op-ed with by praising the women who have come forward against Trump and others.
“To these women: I will never know the fear you felt or the frustration of being summarily dismissed and called a liar, but I do know a lot about the anguish of being inexorably linked to Donald Trump. You have my respect and admiration. You are culture warriors at the forefront of necessary change,” he concluded.
[image via screengrab]
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