Billy Bush fires back at Trump: ‘Of course he said it’

December 4, 2017 GMT

Billy Bush fires back at Trump: ‘Of course he said it’

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- “Of course he said it.”

That’s what Billy Bush, the disgraced former NBC personality, wrote in an op-ed in the New York Times on Sunday, referencing Donald Trump’s vulgar comments about women on an “Access Hollywood” tape in 2005.

In his first extended comments about the incident that led to his dismissal from the “Today” show last October, Bush said seven other people were present on the bus where Trump made his now infamous “Grab ’em by the p-----” remarks.

“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,” he wrote. “We now know better.”


Bush said he was emboldened to set the record straight in response to a New York Times article last week in which Trump questioned the tape’s authenticity, despite already having admitting to and apologizing for the comments.

“President Trump is currently indulging in some revisionist history, reportedly telling allies, including at least one United States senator, that the voice on the tape is not his. This has hit a raw nerve in me,” Bush wrote.

“I can only imagine how it has reopened the wounds of the women who came forward with their stories about him, and did not receive enough attention. This country is currently trying to reconcile itself to years of power abuse and sexual misconduct. Its leader is wantonly poking the bear.”

In the column, Bush said establishing a strong rapport with celebrities -- including Trump, NBC’s biggest star at the time -- was not only part of his job, but essential in helping him climb the ladder at the network.

“Was I acting out of self-interest? You bet I was. Was I alone? Far from it. With Mr. Trump’s outsized viewership back in 2005, everybody from Billy Bush on up to the top brass on the 52nd floor had to stroke the ego of the big cash cow along the way to higher earnings.

“None of us were guilty of knowingly enabling our future president. But all of us were guilty of sacrificing a bit of ourselves in the name of success.”

Bush, who recently separated from his wife, concluded the piece with an update on how his life has changed in the months since.

“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.”

Bush is scheduled to chat with Stephen Colbert on Monday night’s “The Late Show” on CBS.

Earlier Sunday, former Trump campaign adviser David Bossie told “Meet the Press” the authenticity of the “Access Hollywood” tape is not in question.

“I think it’s clear that it is [Trump’s voice], he said. “And I don’t think he disputes that either.”