So much for Billy Bush going to work for Trump TV…
About 14 months after the former NBC host was caught on tape laughing along with comments made by Donald Trump about the way he approaches women, Bush has penned an op-ed for The New York Times.
It references the Access Hollywood recording that leaked in October of 2016 and it centers on the many accusations of sexual harassment and assault against the President of the United States.
In short, Bush says he believes Trump has committed these heinous acts.
The piece was written amidst reports that Trump – hilariously/shockingly/disturbingly – is now denying he ever made the remarks in question.
“He said it. ‘Grab ’em by the p—y,’” Bush writes, explaining that that seven other people were present on the Access Hollywood bus at the time Trump uttered these words and adding:
"Every single one of us assumed we were listening to a crass standup act. He was performing. Surely, we thought, none of this was real.
"We now know better."
Bush, of course, was fired shortly after this recording, which took place in 2005, went viral.
(It was released by The Washington Post.)
The infamous tape features a conversation between Trump (who was at that time host of The Apprentice) and Bush as they drove to the Days of Our Lives set.
Regarding a woman later identified by the press as Nancy O’Dell, Trump is heard saying the following on this video:
I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married. I did try and f–k her. She was married.
He then added, of his philosophy in general when it comes to beautiful women:
Just kiss. I don’t even wait… when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.
Click PLAY if you want to be reminded of what Trump said and how Bush egged him on:
Trump eventually apologized for these remarks, mostly dismissing them as harmless "locker room talk."
But Bush uses the President’s own words against him in his New York Times article.
Citing accusations of misconduct made by such women as Rachel Crooks, Jessica Leeds, Jill Harth, Kristin Anderson and Natasha Stoynof, Bush says:
"Anderson said that Mr. Trump reached under her skirt and “touched her vagina through her underwear” while they were at a New York nightclub in the 1990s.
"That makes the “grab ’em by the pussy” routine real. I believe her."
Bush admits to acting in his own "self interest" by catering to Trump, but says this was the case for everyone at NBC because The Donald made that network so much money with The Apprentice.
Due to his rapport with Trump, along with other major stars, Bush was promoted and given a significant raise.
He made it clear after Trump announced his candidacy that he thought it was a ludicrous and dangerous notion for Trump to run for President, writing for the Times:
The man who once told me – ironically, in another off-camera conversation – after I called him out for inflating his ratings: “People will just believe you. You just tell them and they believe you,” was, I thought, not a good choice to lead our country.
In the ongoing climate, with A-Listers (from Kevin Spacy to Matt Lauer) everywhere being fired for their alleged actions and women feeling empowered by the #MeToo movement, Bush wants to send a message to Donald Trump’s accusers.
Over a dozen have accused the President of misconduct, all of whom the White House claims are lying.
"To these women: I will never know the fear you felt or the frustration of being summarily dismissed and called a liar, but I do know a lot about the anguish of being inexorably linked to Donald Trump," he writes.
"You have my respect and admiration. You are culture warriors at the forefront of necessary change."
Bush will appear tonight on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
Trump defenders will surely claim he’s just saying whatever he can to revive his career.
And Trump will obviously Tweet some mean stuff about Bush.
By simply quoting the President and then quoting his alleged victims, however, Bush had made it difficult to really discredit him or his point of view.
On a personal note, this last year has been an odyssey, the likes of which I hope to never face again: anger, anxiety, betrayal, humiliation, many selfish but, I hope, understandable emotions.
But these have given way to light, both spiritual and intellectual. It’s been fortifying.
I know that I don’t need the accouterments of fame to know God and be happy.
After everything over the last year, I think I’m a better man and father to my three teenage daughters – far from perfect, but better.