I have been curious as to the origins of the recording of Donald Trump that has caused such a sensation, how something made in 2005 lay dormant until Friday. Here is some background to how the recording was made. It arose in the context that Trump had been working for NBC on his own show The Apprentice from 2004 until he decided to run for president last year, and in 2005 had been invited to appear as a guest on another of their programs Access Hollywood.
The recording was made while he was on the bus taking him and host Billy Bush (a cousin of George W. and Jeb!) from his hotel to the studio lot. I suppose that for these kinds of vacuous programs that need lots of filler, they record pretty much everything. But as the bus approached the lot, the filming crew took the camera off the two of them as they prepared to get off the bus, in order to film Trump and Bush getting off. Trump and Bush must have assumed that because the cameras were gone, the microphones were not live and thus we have the infamous recording of them talking without the corresponding visuals. Notice the difference in the way Trump talks when he is on camera and when he thinks he is off.
But who knew that this old recording existed and decided to release it? The show Access Hollywood says that they discovered the tape just this past week and were planning to release it on Monday but that someone tipped off Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold earlier and he released it yesterday.
There are reports that Trump’s off-air comments while shooting his own The Apprentice show for NBC were also lewd and demeaning to women. But those recordings are being kept under lock and key and NBC says that it cannot legally release it since the show was produced under contract to NBC and it is the show’s producers who are authorized to do so. Those producers are not responding to requests or even talking to the media. NBC is not coming out well in this episode. Apart from having been the employer of Trump for so many years, now there are reports surfacing that they themselves had the video for four days before it became public but withheld it for fear of being sued by Trump, and thus got scooped by the Washington Post. The fact that Trump’s partner in the Trump video Billy Bush is a host on their morning show Today is adding to their complicity.
All this has led to speculation that there may well exist other recordings similar to this. Some reports suggest that Trump is resigned to more bombshells emerging over the next few weeks leading up to the election. Bill Pruitt, who was producer for the first two seasons of Trump’s show, Tweets that far worse tapes exist. Another report says the tapes include Trump saying the n-word but that the penalty for leaking the tapes is $5 million. I cannot write the clichéd ‘the other show will drop’ because there have been so many dropped shoes that Trump would have to be a centipede to make the metaphor work.
The Clinton camp has done the wise thing and stayed largely silent. Why distract attention from the self-immolation of the Trump campaign?
Saturday Night Live last night of course had to address this issue.
As a bonus, they also had a sketch about the tough life that Trump campaign staff and surrogates have putting out all the fires that their candidate starts, focusing on campaign manager Kellyanne Conway.
This morning the Trump campaign withdrew Conway out of a Fox News interview and replaced her with Rudy Giuliani. The same thing happened with NBC. Earlier the Trump campaign had replaced Chris Christie with Giuliani in an interview with CNN. Giuliani also was the designated responder on ABC, making it a sweep of the main shows, suggesting that the execrable Giuliani is now pretty much the only person willing to publicly defend Trump, probably because he loves being on TV.