How the vulgar Donald Trump tape from 2005 was discovered at NBC and leaked to the public

Somehow a three-minute recording made 11 years ago is now the cause of the biggest scandal of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential run and the potential end of Billy Bush’s hosting career.

A lot can be said in three minutes. 

On the leaked tape, Trump, who was newly married to Melania Trump at the time, can be heard boasting of trying to sleep with a married woman. Meanwhile, Bush is heard egging him on. “Access Hollywood” identified the woman Trump said he was trying to sleep with as Nancy O’Dell, a current “Entertainment Tonight” host. She and Bush cohosted “Access Hollywood” at the time the tape was made.

Trump also talked about being able to “grab” women “by the p—y” or kiss them, because “when you’re a star, they let you do it.” All the while, Bush is right there affirming Trump’s statements.

It gets worse for Bush when Trump arrives at the “Days of Our Lives” studio, where he’s set to do a cameo on the soap opera, and is greeted by actress Arianne Zucker. Not only do they ogle her through the window, but later Bush insists she hug Trump and, next, himself.

So how did the tape escape years of being hidden away to becoming a bombshell of the election year? Here’s a look at how it all went down:

August 2016: While covering the Rio Olympics, Billy Bush allegedly bragged about having a 'tape of Trump being a real dog.' NBC staffers overheard and that's reportedly how the search for the tape started.

Joe Scarnici/NBC
Anchors Natalie Morales, Billy Bush, and Al Roker on NBC's 'TODAY' show at the Rio Olympics.

Source: New York Post

Monday, October 3: NBC News claims this is the day it first heard of the tape. It and 'Access Hollywood' began working on separate stories about the recording.

Brett Holey/NBC News
The 'NBC Nightly News' control room.

Source: CNN

Tuesday, October 4: NBC News reportedly forwarded the video to its legal department for review, where it remained for two to three days.

Heidi Gutman/NBC
'Today' co-hosts Tamron Hall and Billy Bush with actor Rob Riggle on Tuesday, October 4, 2016.

Source: Politico

Friday, October 7: NBC News was reportedly still waiting for some internal sign-offs and responses to requests for comments on the video, including from Trump's camp. Hurricane Matthew was the big news of the day, so 'Access Hollywood' producers allegedly decide to push their story on the tape to Monday, after the second presidential debate. NBC News agreed to let 'Access Hollywood' go out with the tape first, since it came from the show.

Rachael Leigh Cook talks with 'Access Hollywood Live's' Natalie Morales and Kit Hoover on Friday, October 7.

Source: The New York Times

Friday, October 7, 11 a.m. ET: A source widely thought to be within NBC then pointed reporter David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post to the tape. Fahrenthold had been covering Trump's charitable foundation for months.


Source: The Washington Post

Friday, October 7, noon ET: Fahrenthold asked NBC for comment about the tape. Both NBC News and 'Access Hollywood's' producers, who are based in California, were blindsided by the call. They had believed the tape was secure.

David McNew/Getty Images

Source: CNN

Friday, October 7, 1 p.m. ET: The Washington Post published the video. About 10 minutes later, MSNBC went out with NBC's story. 'Access Hollywood' went out with its story later that evening.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.