Anyone American who was conscious during the nauseating 2016 election season remembers the infamous Access Hollywood tape from 2005 in which now-President Donald Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women to Access Hollywood host Billy Bush. The tape, which dropped on Oct. 7, 2016, included Trump saying, “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.” Although Trump initially said that he was not proud of his comments, calling them “locker room talk” he has since reportedly been questioning the tape’s authenticity, but Bush is having none of it. In a recent New York Times op-ed, he accused Trump of engaging in “revisionist history.”
In the op-ed, entitled “Billy Bush: Yes, Donald Trump, You Said That,” Bush writes:
Of course he said it. And we laughed along … 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…. 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.
Bush goes on to mention that 20 women have stepped forward to accuse Trump of sexual assault since the emergence of the Access Hollywood tape, including Kristin Anderson who said said that Trump reached under her skirt and “touched her vagina through her underwear” at a New York nightclub during the 1990s.
“That makes the ‘grab ’em by the pussy’ routine real,” Bush wrote. “I believe her.”
Bush added that he believes that by denying the tape’s authenticity, Trump is reopening the wounds of his victims and “wantonly poking the bear” amid the widespread sexual misconduct allegations in America media, entertainment and government.
“I have faith that when the hard work of exposing these injustices is over, the current media drama of who did what to whom will give way to a constructive dialogue between mature men and women in the workplace and beyond,” Bush wrote.
He added, “The activist and gender-relations expert Jackson Katz has said that this is not a women’s issue — it’s a men’s issue.”