UPDATE: NBC has suspended Billy Bush after audio leaked of Bush’s 2005 conversation with Donald Trump, according to CNN. Bush was initially set to issue a public apology on Today Monday morning. “There is simply no excuse for Billy’s language and behavior on that tape,” the network’s senior vice president Noah Oppenheim said in an internal memo.
Video of Donald Trump making lewd comments about women in 2005 leaked Friday, two days before the second presidential debate.
In the Access Hollywood outtake obtained by the Washington Post, Trump is heard talking with current Today host Billy Bush about how Trump aggressively kisses women and how he, as a celebrity, can “grab them by the pussy.” The vulgar remarks were made aboard a bus prior to the mogul’s 2005 cameo on the soap opera Days of Our Lives.
In the recording, made several months before Trump married his third wife Melania, the mogul is heard discussing his pursuit of an unnamed married woman; Access Hollywood later confirmed that the woman in question is the show’s former host Nancy O’Dell. “I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it. I did try and fuck her. She was married,” Trump is heard saying, although the video itself is focused on the exterior of the bus.
“And I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.’ I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”
At this point in the video, Trump and Bush notice actress Arianne Zucker, the Days of Our Lives star who acted alongside Trump for the cameo.
“Whoa!” Trump exclaimed after seeing Zucker outside the bus. “I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”
“You can do anything,” Trump reiterates in the video, “Grab them by the pussy.”
After exiting the bus and encountering Zucker, Bush says to the actress, “How about a little hug for the Donald? He just got off the bus.” Trump then hugs Zucker and says, “Melania said this was okay.”
The Trump campaign quickly issued a statement and apology of sorts after the video leaked, with the Republican candidate apologizing “if anyone was offended” by his remarks but not for the remarks themselves.
“This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close,” Trump said in the statement. “I apologize if anyone was offended.”
In a statement to Variety, Bush said of his role in the video, “Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed. It’s no excuse, but this happened eleven years ago — I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry.”
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan canceled Trump’s appearance at a much publicized GOP fundraising event at Wisconsin Fall Fest this weekend after the mogul’s remarks surfaced. “I am sickened by what I heard today. Woman are to be championed and revered, not objectified. I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to that country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests,” Ryan said. “In the meantime, he is no longer attending tomorrow’s event in Wisconsin.”
Reince Priebus, the Republican National Party chairman, said of Trump’s remarks in a statement, “No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever.”
After the Washington Post published their story about the 2005 video, Hillary Clinton linked to the article on Twitter alongside her comments on the matter, “This is horrific. We cannot allow this man to become president.”
According to CNN, Access Hollywood producer Rob Silverstein recently unearthed the show’s 2005 footage with Trump after the mogul’s comments regarding Alicia Machado were revisited during the first presidential debate. Access Hollywood and NBC sat on the footage while deliberating how to handle the content; it’s unclear how the video ended up at the Washington Post. Friday evening, Access Hollywood posted the full five-minute video of Trump and Bush’s segment with Zucker.