A previously unreleased recording of Donald Trump, where he says shocking things about women, exploded onto the news scene on Friday. In the tape, Trump said he could sexually assault women because he was rich, and the fallout has rippled through the Republican party. Although the impact of the revelation is staggering for the Trump campaign, NBC believes the release was attained by one of their own employees and leaked to the Washington Post.
CNN discovered that NBC producer Rob Silverstein planned to release the recording at an unspecified time in the future, but someone else at NBC had a different idea. The release of the interview between Donald Trump and Billy Bush from a 2005 episode of Access Hollywood came right before the second presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis.
The exchange between Bush and Trump came during a conversation on the Access Hollywood bus in the mid-2000s. Trump and Bush speak candidly, as if they didn’t know their microphones were recording, but the content of the discussion is what’s most shocking of all.
The Washington Post broke the story about Trump’s lewd comments. The Republican presidential candidate demonstrated extreme chauvinism in the 2005 interview where Trump also talked about trying to sleep with married women, and blatantly stated he can sexually assault women because he is a “celebrity.”
The Access Hollywood interview between host Billy Bush and Trump happened only a few months after Trump had married his third wife, Melania. However, the recording demonstrates that Trump shamelessly spoke about trying to sleep with other women. The New York real estate mogul specifically mentioned Nancy O’Dell and told Bush, “I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it. I did try and f— her. She was married.”
Trump continued that way during the interview, unabashed, bringing up the woman’s appearance.
“I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married,” Trump said. “Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”
At one point during the conversation, the pair ran into actress Ariana Zucker, which started a new topic. Bush chimed in with, “Your girl’s hot as s–t, in the purple.”
“I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her,” Trump says. “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”
After that, Trump uttered the line that may be his presidential undoing.
“And when you’re a star, they let you do it,” Trump said. “You can do anything. Grab them by the p—y, you can do anything.”
Considering Bush is currently the co-host for NBC’s Today show it seems strategic that the network wouldn’t release the tape right away, but they’re still not sure what inside source gave the previously unreleased recording to the Washington Post.
Washington Post’s David Farenthold broke the story of Trump’s crude talk with Bush after receiving an anonymous phone call. The source asked Farenthold if he wanted to get “some previously unaired video of Trump” and the answer was a resounding yes.
By Friday afternoon, the Washington Post had revealed the recording, which caused the Trump campaign to go into a tail spin, and Republican officials from across the country renounced Trump and demanded he step down as the Republican candidate.
An NBC employee seems to be the most likely culprit. Someone on the inside would have the means and opportunity inside NBC to leak that material to Farenthold, especially after the network decided to reveal the recording well after the next presidential debate. Although Farenthold admitted he knew the identity of the person who leaked the Trump tape, he’s refusing to say who.
NBC believe someone inside their company downloaded the file from the servers and gave it to Washington Post. Considering the Access Hollywood conversation with Trump was already being made into a story, the file was only internally accessible. Now the question is: What will Trump do next?
Billy Bush deleted his Twitter account when the recording became public, either trying to avoid the backlash for his own comments or disconnect himself from the situation entirely. But Trump has refused to step down as the Republican presidential candidate, ignoring outrage from fellow Republicans and citizens alike.
[Featured Image by Richard Drew/AP Photo File]