Whether it’s strategic revisionist history from a man pushing the envelope to see how big a lie he can make without having everyone rolling on the floor laughing at him, or it’s straight out advanced dementia, Donald Trump’s claim that it was someone else’s voice on the infamous Access Hollywood tape where he says “Grab ‘em by the pussy” is one of the single most bizarre statements in American presidential history.
It outweighs Nixon’s “I am not a crook” declaration by virtue of the fact that proof of Nixon’s deplorable behavior was at least only available to those who had access to his secret Oval Office recordings, not readily available on YouTube for anyone who wanted to replay them. It beats out Bill Clinton’s “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” because thankfully there is no known videotape evidence of Clinton’s assignations with Monica Lewinsky.
Trump, however, not only said “Grab ‘em by the pussy” on videotape, he said it in front of witnesses who could verify that no rogue intelligence agent or Hillary supporter dubbed his voice on the tape.
Now Billy Bush, the man Trump said those words to and whose mere association with the incident resulted in him losing his lucrative career as a Today show correspondent on NBC while the person who uttered those crude, lewd words encouraging sexual assault was elected President of the United States of America, has penned a blistering Op-Ed in The New York Times recounting his amazement of the audacity of Trump in spreading lies about the nature of reality as captured by video cameras.
Bush begins by again eliminating any doubt about whether Trump actually said what you’ve already heard him say.
“He said it. “Grab ‘em by the pussy.”
“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. He was performing. Surely, we thought, none of this was real.”
“We now know better.”
Bush then recounts the allegations made by multiple women who’ve charged the President with exactly the kind of sexual assault he described on the Access Hollywood tape. After mentioning accusers Natasha Stoynoff, Rachel Crooks, Jessica Leeds and Jill Harth by name and saying that he believes their stories, he goes on to recount the incident described by another of Trump’s victims.
“Kristin Anderson said that Mr. Trump reached under her skirt and “touched her vagina through her underwear” while they were at a New York nightclub in the 1990s. That makes the “grab ‘em by the pussy” routine real. I believe her.”
Bush goes on to say that Trump’s attempted denial of the very comments he heard with his own ears “has hit a raw nerve” with him.
“I can only imagine how it has reopened the wounds of the women who came forward with their stories about him, and did not receive enough attention. This country is currently trying to reconcile itself to years of power abuse and sexual misconduct. Its leader is wantonly poking the bear.”
According to Bush, he was astonished and dismayed when he heard that Trump would be running for president. This was the man who, when Bush called him out in an off-camera conversation for inflating the numbers of his ratings on The Apprentice, said:
“People will just believe you. You just tell them and they believe you,”
Those are not the words of a man qualified to lead the country in Bush’s eyes. The former host paid tribute to the bravery of Trump’s female accusers.
“This moment in American life is no doubt painful for many women. It is especially painful for the women who have come forward, at the risk of forever being linked to one event, this man, this president of the United States. (I still can’t believe I just wrote that.)”
“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.”
Billy Bush was there. He believes Trump’s female victims because he knows that the President is lying. It’s time for everyone else in the country to believe Billy Bush, and not the Teflon Don.