It should have been the final nail in the coffin of Donald Trump's presidential election campaign, and in a good and proper world it would have been. When the Access Hollywood tape surfaced of his infamous "locker room talk" with Billy Bush, where he bragged about grabbing women by their genitals, most people were appropriately appalled and appropriately unsurprised.
Now, more than a year after the tape aired, more than a year after Bush was removed from his position at NBC, and months after Trump himself explicitly apologized for the tape, the billionaire has decided to call into question the recording's authenticity.
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Bush, having had his own reputation and career devastated by the advent of the tape, isn't giving Trump the out. In an op-ed for theNew York Times over the weekend, the former host was candid after a year of reflection. "He said it. 'Grab 'em by the pussy.' Of course he said it," Bush writes. "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."
Bush goes on to lambast Trump's dismissal of the voice on the tape not being his own. "This country is currently trying to reconcile itself to years of power abuse and sexual misconduct. Its leader is wantonly poking the bear," he writes. "Today is about reckoning and reawakening, and I hope it reaches all the guys on that bus." Read the full Times op-ed, here.