By now we all know the story: during a private on-set moment, Donald Trump bragged to Access Hollywood host Billy Bush about having sexually assaulted several women. Audio of the conversation surfaced during the election, Billy Bush was fired simply for having gone along with Trump’s words, and Trump somehow ended up in the Oval Office. Trump apologized for the incident at the time, but now he says he’s no longer sure whether it’s really his voice on the tape. Suffice it to say that Billy Bush is far less than happy about this.
Bush has penned a devastating op-ed in the New York Times titled “Yes, Donald Trump, You Said That.” He explains that at the time, he believed Trump was simply making up a story to try to sound cool. However he’s since heard the stories told by Trump’s accusers, and he now understands that Trump was indeed bragging about having committed sexual assault during his infamous “grab em by the…” moment (link). Bush then goes on to quote the words of several of Trump’s accusers.
This op-ed sent such shockwaves that the name “Billy Bush” immediately began trending on Twitter. Bush reminded everyone that he spent Trump’s entire candidacy pushing back against him, and he added this paragraph to make as clear as possible whose side he’s on: “This moment in American life is no doubt painful for many women. It is especially painful for the women who have come forward, at the risk of forever being linked to one event, this man, this president of the United States. (I still can’t believe I just wrote that.)”
But in political terms, the real upshot here is that Billy Bush – an eyewitness to Donald Trump’s “grab em by the…” confession – is confirming that he heard Trump say these words. It drives a stake in the heart of Trump’s sudden claim that the tape is somehow fake. It also means Trump will launch a deranged Twitter meltdown about Billy Bush any moment now. You can read the op-ed here.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report