Trump Now Claims 'Access Hollywood' Tape Might Not Be Authentic
The president made the comments to a senator and an adviser on separate occasions, according to a report by The New York Times.
President Donald Trump is now suggesting the Access Hollywood tape, which surfaced weeks before the election last year and famously featured him bragging to then-host Billy Bush about sexual assault by grabbing women by the “pussy,” was perhaps not authentic.
According to The New York Times, Trump sees the recent sexual misconduct allegations against Alabama's GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, and the subsequent calls for him to step out of the race, as being similar to the response to Trump's tape.
The outlet reports: "He sees the calls for Mr. Moore to step aside as a version of the response to the now-famous Access Hollywood tape, in which he boasted about grabbing women’s genitalia, and the flood of groping accusations against him that followed soon after. He suggested to a senator earlier this year that it was not authentic, and repeated that claim to an adviser more recently. (In the hours after it was revealed in October 2016, Mr. Trump acknowledged that the voice was his, and he apologized.)"
Six women have accused Moore of pursuing romantic relationships with them when they were teenagers and he was an assistant district attorney in his 30s. Two have accused him of assault or molestation. Moore has denied the allegations.
After staying mostly mum on the subject, Trump this week discounted accusations of sexual misconduct against Moore, telling voters not to support his "liberal" rival.
The president spoke to reporters Tuesday at the White House before leaving for a Thanksgiving break at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. He said of the Alabama race: "We don't need a liberal person in there."
Of the accusations, Trump said that Moore "denies it."