Billy Bush confirms it was Trump's voice on 'Access Hollywood' tape: 'Yes, Donald Trump, you said that'
- Billy Bush confirmed that Donald Trump was the voice featured in the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape from 2005.
- Trump previously apologized for his vulgar comments in the tape, then dismissed them as "locker-room talk."
- But Trump has also questioned the tape's authenticity in private conversations this year.
Former NBC host Billy Bush confirmed in a New York Times editorial on Sunday that President Donald Trump was indeed the voice behind the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape that surfaced in 2016.
In the 2005 video, Trump can be heard admitting to groping and kissing women without their consent in a hot-mic conversation with Bush, then the host of "Access Hollywood." At one point, Trump says his celebrity allows him to "grab 'em by the p---y" and that "when you're a star, they let you do it."
Trump initially apologized and dismissed his comments as "locker-room talk" when The Washington Post published the video in October 2016. However, The New York Times recently reported that Trump has changed his story, questioning the authenticity of the tape at least twice since January.
Bush, who was fired by NBC for making vulgar comments about women with Trump, recalled the incident for The Times.
"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 wrote.
"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."
Arianne Zucker, an actress seen greeting Trump in the tape, told CNN's Anderson Cooper that the tape was authentic in an interview last week.
Bush said that during his conversation with Trump, he assumed Trump's comments were "hypothetical hot air from America's highest-rated bloviator." But he said he realized Trump wasn't exaggerating years later, after he read accounts from several of the women who accused Trump of sexual assault.
"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," Bush wrote. "You have my respect and admiration. You are culture warriors at the forefront of necessary change."
Bush also argued that his participation in the vulgar dialogue was part of NBC's practice of accommodating Trump at all costs. NBC was the network behind Trump's show "The Apprentice," which began airing in 2004.
"Was I acting out of self-interest? You bet I was. Was I alone? Far from it," Bush wrote. "With Mr. Trump's outsized viewership back in 2005, everybody from Billy Bush on up to the top brass on the 52nd floor had to stroke the ego of the big cash cow along the way to higher earnings."
"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."