Video of a lewd conversation Donald Trump had with then-Access Hollywood host Billy Bush during a 2005 bus ride to a studio where the real estate mogul was to tape an episode of Days of Our Lives is turning out to be the bombshell October surprise of the fall campaign season so far.
The video, revealed by The Washington Post this afternoon, captures GOP presidential nominee Trump revealing some of his feelings about how to treat women to whom he's attracted.
"You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them," he says. "It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait."
"And when you’re a star, they let you do it," Trump says. "You can do anything."
"Whatever you want," says a man who sounds like Bush.
"Grab them by the pussy,” Trump says. "You can do anything."
In a statement today Trump painted the conversation as private "locker room banter" that paled in comparison to some of things Trump says he's heard President Bill Clinton say on the golf course. " ... Not even close," the candidate said.
"I apologize if anyone was offended," Trump stated.
Bush, now co-host of NBC's Today, said he's "very sorry" for his taped remarks. "Obviously I'm embarrassed and ashamed," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "It's no excuse, but this happened eleven years ago — I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along."
The "hot-mic" remarks were made as Trump rode an Access Hollywood "Access Across America Tour" bus on a studio lot and after he disembarked to head to the taping. At the time it appears Days of Our Lives was recorded at The Burbank Studios, run by NBC in Burbank.
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Reaction to the video was swift and damning, with Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton, saying on Twitter, "This is horrific. We cannot allow this man to become president."
Women's advocacy group UltraViolet called Trump "a dangerous, predatory misogynist and this video further proves that he should never be allowed to step foot in the White House," according to a statement.
The Latino Victory Fund weighed in, too.
"We are appalled and disturbed by Trump’s disgusting, piggish comments towards women," said César J. Blanco, the organization's interim director. "Trump is not pathologically capable of treating women like human beings. His misogynistic behavior is a disturbing pattern that we have seen time and time again and that we cannot continue to tolerate or ignore. If we ignore his attacks against women, we will certainly undo decades of hard work and hard-fought battles for women’s rights. Our nation cannot thrive and prosper if women’s civil rights are not guaranteed, and we all have the responsibility to condemn Trump and any man who threatens women’s rights."