Leave it to Donald Trump, with a hurricane thrashing Florida and the Carolinas, to create an even bigger storm with a decade old tape.
CNN says, according to an NBC source, one of Access Hollywood‘s’s producers remembered Trump’s interview with former co-host Billy Bush.
Trump’s offensive comments about Alicia Machado were still in the news and AP had just published a story quoting former “Apprentice” employees saying Trump “was lewd and sexist”. With that in mind, executive producer Rob Silverstein had his team taken a look at the 2005 tape, and discovered that among other gross things, it included a moment in which Trump told a laughing Billy Bush,
“…and when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything… Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.“
After reviewing the tape Silverstein was debating what to do and then decided to broadcast it, and a script had been written. But the story was not slated to air on Friday night’s edition of the show, meaning the earliest it would have aired is Monday night –AFTER Sunday night’s Presidential debate.
NBC was then notified that David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post had come into possession of a copy and asked for comment about the tape around noon. The producers at “Access” were blindsided.
Farenthold says he knows the identity of the person who leaked the video to him, but will not disclose it and sources at NBC believe someone inside the company downloaded the footage from one of the network’s video servers.
Silverstein told The NY Post on Friday afternoon,
“I don’t know who leaked it. I have no idea.“
After the Post called NBC for comment, NBC News staff hurried to finish a story about it and on last night’s edition, co-host Natalie Morales reported on the tape, saying
“In the course of reporting on Mr. Trump, we have reviewed much of our own footage…“
And Donald Trump, who has since tried to apologize, while attacking Hillary Clinton via her husband’s infidelities, has come under an avalanche of criticism from members of his own party.
Utah Sen. Mike Lee released a video on Facebook shortly after Trump’s apology,
“It’s occurred to me on countless occasions today that if anyone spoke to my wife or my daughter or my five sisters like the way Mr. Trump has spoke to women, I wouldn’t hire that person, I wouldn’t want to be associated with that person. You, sir, are the distraction. Your conduct is the distraction . . . Mr. Trump, I respectfully ask you, with all due respect, to step aside. Step down.”
Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock also called for Trump to exit the race.
“This is disgusting, vile, and disqualifying. No woman should ever be subjected to this type of obscene behavior and it is unbecoming of anybody seeking high office. In light of these comments, Donald Trump should step aside and allow our party to replace him with Mike Pence or another appropriate nominee from the Republican Party.”
Before Trump aired his apology video, Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz said,
“And why should we tolerate this?. This is the presidency of the United States of America: I just can’t do it.”
A source told AP that Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, was “beside himself,” and Pence’s wife was furious.
Sen. Paul Ryan said Trump would not be appearing with him at a scheduled event in Wisconsin and Pence will be attending in his place with Trump staying in New York to prepare for the debate.
This is a problem for Today Show host Billy Bush, as well, who told The Post,
“Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed. It’s no excuse, but this happened 11 years ago — I was younger, less mature and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry.”
Meanwhile, Robert DeNiro lashed out at Trump in a video that aired on Megyn Kelly’s show, saying that he’d,
“like to punch him in the face.”
Social media is naturally ablaze with all sorts of memes and posts. We created our own Trump / Pence campaign promotion making lemonade out of a mountain of lemons, trying our best to get #PussyGate to trend.
Meanwhile, many in the Trump camp are throwing in the towel. CNN reported that a GOP operative in Ohio said,
“This is bad. I think this thing is over.“
#SorryNotSorry: TRUMP’S LAME APOLOGY
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