Donald Trump made lewd comments about groping and trying to have sex with women during a 2005 conversation with Access Hollywood‘s Billy Bush that was caught on a hot microphone, according to a video of the conversation published by The Washington Post on Friday.
The conversation took place as Trump and Bush were on board an Access Hollywood bus, arriving on the set of Days of Our Lives to tape a segment about a cameo Trump was filming for the soap opera at the time.
On the tape, Trump can be heard describing a failed attempt to have sex with an unnamed woman. It is unclear when the incident took place, but the tape was recorded several months after Trump married his third wife, Melania, in January 2005, the Post reported.
“I moved on her and I failed. I’ll admit it,” said Trump, who is now the Republican nominee for president. “I did try and f–k her. She was married.”
“Whoa,” a voice, apparently Bush’s, can be heard saying.
“And I moved on her very heavily,” Trump continued. “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 t–s and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”
Trump and Bush went on to make vulgar comments about Arianne Zucker, an actress who was waiting nearby to bring them onto the Days of Our Lives set.
“Your girl’s hot as s—, in the purple,” Bush told Trump, who replied, “Whoa! Whoa!”
“I’ve gotta use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her,” Trump said. “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,” Trump said. “You can do anything.”
“Grab them by the p—y,” he added. “You can do anything.”
Later, after the two men exited the bus and met Zucker, Bush said: “How about a little hug for the Donald? He just got off the bus.”
“Would you like a little hug, darling?” Zucker said.
“Absolutely,” Trump replied. As they hugged and air-kissed, Trump said, “Melania said this was okay.”
A spokeswoman for NBC Universal, which produces and distributes Access Hollywood, declined comment to the Post.
Shortly after the Post report was published, Trump, 70, released a statement saying:
“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. I apologize if anyone was offended.”
Access Hollywood addressed the footage on Friday, with host Natalie Morales claiming that it was Entertainment Tonight co-host Nancy O’Dell who Trump was talking about.
Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton took to Twitter to respond to the leaked recording via a tweet from Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold:
William Kristol, conservative editor of The Weekly Standard, said on CNN Friday, “I like his excuse that it was locker-room talk. Donald Trump was — what? — at this time, 59, 60 years old. Just married. For the third time.”
“It is a window into his character and I hope it does get some seriously moral and religious people thinking about the character of this man that some of them have decided to support,” he added.
While the video was quickly going viral, reporters traveling with Trump’s running mate, Gov. Mike Pence, were abruptly told they would not get a promised photo-op with the devout evangelical Christian candidate. And Republican disgust started to percolate with Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona tweeting, “America deserves far better than @realDonaldTrump.”
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus released a statement Friday evening, condemning Trump’s comments about women. “No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever,” Priebus said.
Meghan McCain, the daughter of 2008 presidential candidate John McCain, also weighed in with a tweet that simply said: “Oh no, Billy Bush, no….”
And another that said: “This godforsaken election. This vile excuse for a nominee. I cannot find the humor in any of this.”