NBC “Today Show” co-anchor Billy Bush apologised for crude comments he and Donald Trump made about women in a shocking 2005 video The Washington Post published Friday.
“Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed,” Bush said in a statement obtained by People Magazine. “It’s no excuse, but this happened eleven years ago — I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry.”
The video includes audio of Trump, who is now the Republican presidential nominee, speaking to Bush, and boasting about groping women and making sexual advances to a married woman who was not named in the recording.
“I did try and f— her,” Trump later said. “She was married. … And I moved on her very heavily.”
Trump added that “when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”
Another voice that appears to be Bush on the recording can be heard laughing at Trump’s remarks.
The incident happened aboard an “Access Hollywood” bus while Bush worked for the television show.
“Access Hollywood” had recently dug up the unreleased recording from its video library and was preparing its own story this week, but was scooped by The Post’s David Fahrenthold, The Hollywood Reported noted.
Donald Trump defended his comments and said the private conversation with Bush was simply “locker room banter.”
“This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago,” Trump said in a statement. “Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close. I apologise if anyone was offended.”
Republican officials quickly denounced Trump’s comments that were widely interpreted as misogynistic.
“No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.
Former Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney tweeted his disdain for Trump’s comments, characterising them as insulting to women and degrading to America’s reputation on the global stage.
“Hitting on married women? Condoning assault? Such vile degradations demean our wives and daughters and corrupt America’s face to the world,” Romney said.
Along with other Republicans, Romney has repeatedly railed against Trump and his consistently embattled presidential campaignm labelling the Manhattan billionaire’s repeated controversies as “disqualifying.”
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