20 July 2018

Billy Bush blasts Trump over 'Access Hollywood' tape denials

KONFRONTASI - Former "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush has strongly denounced Donald Trump's claim that the 2005 tape where he boasted about sexually assaulting women was fake, urging the US president to “stop playing around with people’s lives.”

Trump was recorded during a taping for an Access Hollywood” segment bragging about his ability to grope women because he's "a star." According to The New York Times, Trump has expressed doubt about the authenticity of the video.

In the hours after the video was revealed in October 2016, then-candidate Trump acknowledged he made the lewd comments and apologized.

About two dozen women have come forward since the video was released, accusing Trump of inappropriate sexual behavior.

Speaking on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Monday, Bush said that he was motivated to write his recent op-ed against Trump after reading the accounts of women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct.

He added that he had his “own personal problem” with the president who suggested that the tape might be fake.

“All these women came out with their names and told their detailed accounts,” Bush said. “So when he said this it infuriated me on a personal front, but then I ended up Googling and I found an article with all these women’s accounts.”

This AFP file photo taken on January 19, 2015 shows Donald Trump (R) before he launched his presidential campaign as he is interviewed by Billy Bush of Access Hollywood at Trump Tower in New York City.

The former “Access Hollywood” host, who was fired by NBC News shortly after the tape of Trump’s bragging of sexual misconduct with women had emerged, said that he hadn’t read up on the accusations against Trump. But, Bush added, he has been reading up on the allegations in recent days.

“I said, 20 women don’t get together and say, ‘you know what would be really fun, let’s take down a powerful guy together.’ No, they don’t,” Bush said.

“I said, ‘OK, you’re reopening wounds on them too. Enough’s enough, stop playing around with people’s lives.’”

“That upset me,” he stated.

On Sunday, The New York Times published an op-ed from Bush in which he accused Trump of “indulging in some revisionist history” by reportedly telling some people that the voice in the “Access Hollywood” tape isn’t him.

“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 ,” Bush wrote in the op-ed.

Trump's "Access Hollywood" video is under renewed scrutiny as sexual harassment allegations against powerful men in a variety of industries continue to emerge, including those made against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore.

One woman alleges Moore touched her inappropriately when she was 14. Another woman has accused Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was 16. Moore has repeatedly denied the allegations.[ptv]