President Donald Trump has privately questioned the veracity of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, on which he bragged about groping and kissing women without their consent, according to a report published over the weekend by the New York Times.
The New York Times reported on Saturday that Trump “suggested” to a senator earlier in the year that the recording was not genuine, and more recently made the same suggestion to an adviser.
The Washington Post obtained and published the recording in October 2016. During a presidential debate, Trump denied that he ever acted on his vulgar comments about kissing and grabbing women “by the pussy.”
Multiple women accused Trump of sexual misconduct, including “attempted ‘rape’,” spanning four decades, and cited his denial as their motivation to come forward.
The outpouring of allegations against Trump was similar to those now leveled against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, whom multiple women have accused of sexual misconduct, including “assault.”
One woman, Leigh Corfman, alleged that Moore initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 years old; other women have also accused Moore of sexually pursuing them when they were teenagers and he was in his early 30s.
According to the New York Times, Trump has also drawn parallels between his accusers and those coming forward with allegations against Moore.
Any questions about the recording’s authenticity would nevertheless stand in contrast to the fact that Trump is both visible and recognizable in the 2005 video, not to mention his own previous remarks on the subject.
In the hours after the tape was released, Trump released a video statement where he acknowledged that he made the recorded comments and apologized for doing so: “I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.”