President Donald Trump has questioned the authenticity of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape in which he bragged about being able to grope women, The New York Times reported over the weekend, despite the fact that Trump immediately apologized for his remarks when the video surfaced.
Trump’s decision to stick with Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore despite sexual harassment allegations against him is rooted in the President’s own sexual harassment scandal during the 2016 election.
“He sees the calls for Mr. Moore to step aside as a version of the response to the now-famous ‘Access Hollywood’ tape, in which he boasted about grabbing women’s genitalia, and the flood of groping accusations against him that followed soon after,” the Times reported. “He suggested to a senator earlier this year that it was not authentic, and repeated that claim to an adviser more recently.”
CNN has not independently confirmed the New York Times’ reporting. The White House has not responded to CNN’s request for comment.
During the election, several women accused Trump of previous instances of sexual harassment and the 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape of Trump released in October 2016 caught him saying on a hot mic: “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything … Grab them by the p****. You can do anything.”
Trump’s reported denials mentioned in the New York Times directly contradict his apology following the tape’s release.
He said in a short video statement hours after the video surfaced: “I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.”