Billy Bush Writes Op-Ed Confirming Trump Access Hollywood Tape Is Real: ‘Of Course He Said It’

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Billy Bush and Donald Trump. Photo: Rob Kim/Getty Images

After news broke that President Trump reportedly has been calling into question the veracity of the infamous leaked tape in which he brags about grabbing women’s genitals, the other parties involved swiftly stepped in to confirm that the audio of Trump’s locker-room talk is absolutely real. Hot on the heels of Access Hollywood’s own statement on the matter, Billy Bush wrote a New York Times op-ed scoffing at the idea that Trump would now, months after apologizing for his statements, cast doubt on the origin of the tape. “He said it. ‘Grab ’em by the pussy.’ Of course he said it,” Bush wrote on Sunday. “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.”

Following the release of the tape, which features Bush laughing at lewd behind-the-scenes comments made by Trump in 2005, the former Access Hollywood co-anchor was ousted from his job co-hosting NBC’s Today. Bush subsequently claimed that he assumed Trump was joking. Now, in the Times, Bush points to the more than 16 women who have accused POTUS of sexual misconduct, and acknowledges that he, like many others, brushed off Trump’s attitude toward women to benefit his own career. “None of us were guilty of knowingly enabling our future president. But all of us were guilty of sacrificing a bit of ourselves in the name of success,” he admits. Concludes Bush, when reflecting on this fall’s sexual-harassment reckoning in Hollywood and beyond, “Today is about reckoning and reawakening, and I hope it reaches all the guys on the bus.”

Billy Bush Says Trump Tape Is Real: ‘Of Course He Said It’