The reckoning continues against men in power and the ways they used their positions to sexually harass women after television host Billy Bush helped blow the lid off on one of the most explosive sexual assault allegations surrounding President Donald Trump. Bush confirmed that it was indeed Trump who said the “grab ’em by the p*ssy” line that surfaced on the Access Hollywood tape.
From an op-ed penned by Billy Bush for the New York Times:
Of course he said it. And we laughed along, without a single doubt that this was hypothetical hot air from America’s highest-rated bloviator. Along with Donald Trump and me, there were seven other guys present on the bus at the time, and 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.
Recently I sat down and read an article dating from October of 2016; it was published days after my departure from NBC, a time when I wasn’t processing anything productively. In it, the author reviewed the various firsthand accounts about Mr. Trump that, at that point, had come from 20 women.
Some of what Natasha Stoynoff, Rachel Crooks, Jessica Leeds and Jill Harth alleged involved forceful kissing. Ms. Harth said he pushed her up against a wall, with his hands all over her, trying to kiss her.
“He was relentless,” she said. “I didn’t know how to handle it.” Her story makes the whole “better use some Tic Tacs” and “just start kissing them” routine real. I believe her.
Bush, who left Access Hollywood after working there from 2001 to 2004, moved to NBC to become part of NBC’s Today show. The revelation of the tape where Trump’s lewd remarks appeared led to the aforementioned departure from the network.
The rest of Billy Bush’s piece can be read here.