By Hannah Bouchard
Just a few weeks prior to the 2016 presidential election, Access Hollywood released a 2005 tape of then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump making vulgar comments about women and joking about sexual-assault. This later sparked controversy, as the comment about grabbing women by their genitals went viral, hurting his campaign. He apologized for the tape shortly after and approved its genuinity, stating, “I said it, I was wrong and I apologize.” He excused the conversation as “locker-room talk” and downplayed the comments that had many Americans believe he had sexually assaulted women on multiple occasions. Recently, according to the New York Times, “Trump has told an aide and a U.S. senator that he has doubts about veracity of the recording.” He told the senator that he had doubts that the voice was his, as the recording included many remarks that make him seem a likely perpetrator of sexual assault.
Allison Karpiak (‘21) weighs in, and when asked if she believes the tape is real, she said, “Yes, because he’s actually the worst person ever. [I d]on’t believe anything he says, to be honest.”
“All political biases aside, Trump has a history of degrading and objectifying women, including his own daughter, which leads me to think that this tape is real,” says Caroline Polich (‘21).
Recently, Trump has endorsed Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore. His endorsement has been met with criticism as Moore was accused by multiple women of sexual assault, many of them when the women were teenagers. Trump has defended Moore in denying these accusations, stating, “He says it didn’t happen, you have to listen to him.” according to the New York Times.
Access Hollywood has confirmed that the tape was real even after stories of Trump calling it fake have surfaced. In an interview with TIME, Natalie Morales, Access Hollywood host, stated, “Let us make this perfectly clear — the tape is very real. Remember his excuse at the time was ‘locker-room talk.’ He said every one of those words.”.
While Trump has not publicly denied the tape’s validity yet, there seems to be an initiative to investigate if the tape does or does not contain the President’s voice.
Image courtesy of CNN