For almost 13 minutes, Bush spoke with Stephen Colbert about the entire ordeal.
"Along with Donald Trump and me, there were seven other guys present on the bus at the time and every single one of us assumed we were listening to a crass standup act", Bush wrote. "For some reason, he came out with 'That's not my voice.'" Bush told Colbert in a snippet of the interview previewed by CBS Monday evening.
"It was a hard time", he said, reminding the audience of the political climate 14 months ago. "You have been only dealing with it for 14 minutes and went on to be the President".
Colbert played the Access Hollywood tape, and Bush called it a "gut punch" now, as it was the first time her heard it, three days before it leaked.
The "Access Hollywood" tape, which offered a recording of Trump bragging to Bush about soliciting sexual attention from women, even assaulting them to do so, had faded away from public discourse after Trump was elected to the White House in 2016. However, Bush wanted the President to be held accountable for his past actions as countless women have stepped forward to talk about how the Commander-in-Chief harassed them. "Let's take down a powerful guy together!" "Enough's enough. Stop playing around with people's lives", said Bush.
Colbert noted that the moment of reckoning began with Harvey Weinstein (whose own alleged history of sexual misconduct was made public October 5, nearly exactly a year after the Access Hollywood tape leak) and hasn't stopped.
Bush said he was confused as well. According to Bush, the president's remarks felt he was "doing his bit".
"Like I wrote in the op-ed, I think a lot of us were complicit ... everyone kind of had to kiss the ring of The Donald because he was making so much money for NBC ... so I was with him all the time", Bush told Colbert. "I was there, you were there, that's your voice on the tape", Bush said, explaining that he had read the account of women accusing the president of sexual assault.
"Then you got 20 women at the time - I don't know what the exact number is because there is more - but 20 women who used their names".
"If I had thought there was a man detailing a sexual assault strategy to me, I would've called the Federal Bureau of Investigation, not just reported it to my executive producer".
"Matt Lauer controlled that show". "We had a conversation about that and he told me that he went privately to the bosses and took that line", Bush recounted. To get access to and coax trust from a famous person, it is routine to think it's necessary to smile and nod at opinions with which one might ordinarily disagree; "establishing a strong rapport with celebrities", is how Bush phrases it generously for himself. "Do you wish he would have protected you?" "I said I appreciated it, and I accepted it, and thanked him". "I think it was very hot emotionally". Colbert asked. Bush agreed with that sentiment.
Bush continued: "Women must be believed", he said. "I'm anxious that the dialogue isn't going to be around because we move onto the next thing". "We have to continue it all the way through, and I hope we do that".
"Interestingly, this particular moment that we're in hasn't ended", Colbert said.
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