It’s been over a year since Billy Bush was fired from the Today show over his participation in Donald Trump‘s now infamous Access Hollywood tape. In the released footage, the now president proudly said “Grab ’em by the p—y. You can do anything.” After Trump recently questioned the tape’s validity, Billy wrote in a New York Times op-ed that Trump absolutely made the lewd comment.
“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,” he explained.” 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.”
Many women including Natasha Stoynoff, Rachel Crooks, Jessica Leeds, and Jill Harth came forward and accused Trump of sexual harassment and assault. Despite the fact that these claims weren’t enough to deter the country from voting him into the highest governmental office, Billy wrote that he believes the claims of these women.
“Kristin 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,” he continued. “That makes the ‘grab ’em by the p—y’ routine real. I believe her.”
Now, Billy has the benefit of hindsight. After getting fired by NBC and publically ridiculed, he’s had time to reflect on why he chose to go along with the offensive conversation.
“Was I acting out of self-interest? You bet I was. Was I alone? Far from it,” he added. “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.”
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) December 5, 2017
Later the same day, he explained why he was speaking out against Trump on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. “You’ve got 20 women at the time who used their names, all of these women came out and told their detailed accounts, so when he said this it infuriates me on a personal front and then I read an article with all of these women’s accounts. As I read these I said, okay, you’re reopening wounds. Enough’s enough, stop playing around with people’s lives. So I wrote it.”