Update: It wasn't enough to cost him the election, but Donald Trump's name will forever be associated with a lewd Access Hollywood video in which he bragged about kissing and grabbing women by their genitals because "when you're a star, they let you do it."
Unsurprisingly, Access Hollywood kept the receipts (like, you know, the video footage of Trump speaking) and its hosts have responded to the president's latest outrageous claim.
"Let us make this perfectly clear. The tape is very real," Access Hollywood host Natalie Morales said Monday. "Remember his excuse at the time was 'locker-room talk.' He said every one of those words."
Even White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders didn't deny the tape's authenticity, according to The Huffington Post. When questioned about the matter on Monday, she stated that Trump had "made his position clear at that time," in an apparent reference to the president's apology, which was issued hours after the tape's release in October 2016.
Original story was published on November 26, 2017.
The New York Times reports that Trump is now claiming that Access Hollywood video footage showing him bragging about kissing women and grabbing them "by the pussy" is "not authentic." The video was filmed during a 2005 interview with the show's since-fired host Billy Bush and was released by the Washington Post last October.
The Trump campaign released a statement after the tape went public, acknowledging that it was "private conversation" involving the Republican candidate. The statement was posted to his campaign website but has since been taken down.
“This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago," the statement read. "Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close. I apologise if anyone was offended."
"He suggested to a senator earlier this year that it was not authentic, and repeated that claim to an adviser more recently," the Times noted in its report on Trump's endorsement of Moore, who has been urged to leave the race by other prominent Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. "(In the hours after it was revealed in October 2016, Mr. Trump acknowledged that the voice was his, and he apologised.)"
The president, who has himself been accused of sexual assault by multiple women, may want to distance himself from vulgar comments that implicate him in criminal behaviour. Efforts to spin it all as "fake news" a year after issuing a statement admitting to making the comments defies incredulity.