Trump once said the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape was real. Now he’s not sure

The New York Times reports: Shortly after his victory last year, Donald J. Trump began revisiting one of his deepest public humiliations: the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape of him making vulgar comments about women.

Despite his public acknowledgment of the recording’s authenticity in the final days of the presidential campaign — and his hasty videotaped apology under pressure from his advisers — Mr. Trump as president-elect began raising the prospect with allies that it may not have been him on the tape after all.

Most of Mr. Trump’s aides ignored his changing story. But in January, shortly before his inauguration, Mr. Trump told a Republican senator that he wanted to investigate the recording that had him boasting about grabbing women’s genitals.

“We don’t think that was my voice,” Mr. Trump told the senator, according to a person familiar with the conversation. Since then, Mr. Trump has continued to suggest that the tape that nearly upended his campaign was not actually him, according to three people close to the president.

As the issue of sexual harassment has swept through the news media, politics and entertainment industries, Mr. Trump has persisted in denying allegations that he, too, made unwanted advances on multiple women in past years. In recent days, he has continued to seed doubt about his appearance on the “Access Hollywood” tape, stunning his advisers. [Continue reading…]

Let’s just play along with this absurd claim — “We don’t think that was my voice,” says Trump, who apparently needs the assistance of others in identifying his own voice.

If the tape was a fake, then it was good enough to fool Trump. Yet that also implies that the success of the deception hinged on the sound of the voice rather than what was being said.

Trump was quick to own the words in the tape: “I said it, I was wrong and I apologize.”

So what now? Is he going to retract his apology? Is he going to say he got fooled by a fake tape?

Is this further evidence that the president “is unraveling“?

A report in the Washington Post indicates that Trump is now totally delusional.

President Trump has expressed certainty that the special-counsel probe into his campaign’s possible collusion with Russia will be finished by the end of the year, complete with an exoneration from Robert S. Mueller III, according to several friends who have spoken with him in recent days.

Trump has dismissed his historically low approval ratings as “fake” and boasted about what he calls the unprecedented achievements of his presidency, even while chatting behind the scenes, saying no president since Harry Truman has accomplished as much at this point.

Time to invoke the 25th Amendment!

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Comments

  1. The shaky premise is that Trump had anything to do with his ‘apology’. The text is written in civilized, organized, university-level prose — it even uses the word ‘nor’! And the sentence you quote follows a veni-vidi-vici style of almost classical rhetoric: “I said it, I was wrong and I apologize.”

    I surmise, therefore, that Trump feels no responsibility for this production and is now simply asserting what he would have asserted had his handlers unhanded him back in the day.

    This is not to deny that he appears to be descending into psychosis… though the 25th will be little help if, as seems clear, most of the others at this particular tea party are as mad as he is.

  2. Paul Woodward says:

    When I wrote Trump was quick to “own” the words in the tape, I was merely referring to the fact that these words, “I said it, I was wrong and I apologize,” came out of his mouth. No doubt he was reading the words of political consultants were versed in the practice of damage control. But even if these weren’t his words in their conception, he made them his own when he agreed to have them pass through his lips.

  3. Dieter Heymann says:

    1. There was at least one other person on that bus when the recording was allegedly made.
    2. Voice analysis is frequently used in investigations.
    3. It is therefore absolutely possible for Trump to establish that he now speaks the truth. Take “Access Hollywood” to court for defamation and call on 1 and 2 during your deposition. Mr. President, what are you waiting for? Are you afraid that you are lying again?

  4. “…he made them his own when he agreed to have them pass through his lips.”

    Agreed, absolutely. But from inside Trump the world might look quite different — he might even sincerely (in some sense) fail to grasp why others would want hold him to account.

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