Trump on Hot Mic: 'When You're a Star ... You Can Do Anything' to Women

Jane C. Timm
Key Points

Note: This article contains explicit language that some may find objectionable.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his wife Melania.
Getty Images

A decade before Donald Trump became the Republican nominee for president, he shared candid and lewd views on women that were caught on tape.

"I'm automatically attracted to beautiful women — I just start kissing them, it's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything," he said in the 2005 conversation. "Grab 'em by the pussy."

Ten years later, as a candidate and now the Republican nominee, Trump has come under fire for insulting and directing crude language toward women. He's rejected such criticism repeatedly, insisting "nobody has more respect for women than me."

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In the 2005 recording obtained by NBC News from Access Hollywood, Trump, then newly married to Melania Trump, spots a young woman through a bus window while in conversation with Billy Bush, at the time an anchor for Access Hollywood, and others.

"Whoa, whoa," he said to Bush about the woman's appearance. "I gotta use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her."

Earlier in the conversation, Trump recalls talking about trying to woo a married woman.

"I moved on her actually, she was down in Palm Beach and I failed. I'll admit it. I did try to fuck her, she was married ... and I moved on her very heavily," Trump is heard saying.

"I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture and I told her 'I'll show you where you can get some nice furniture,'" Trump is heard saying. "I moved on her like a bitch, and I could not get there, and she was married. And all the sudden I see her and she's got the big phony tits, she's totally changed her look."

In a prepared statement, Trump responded to the clip.

"This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended."

RNC chairman Reince Preibus also responded to Trump's comments in a statement Friday night.

"No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner," he said. "Ever."

Bush, now with the TODAY show, apologized in a statement Friday night, and said he was playing along in the 2005 conversation.

"Obviously I'm embarrassed and ashamed. It's no excuse, but this happened eleven years ago — I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I'm very sorry," Bush said in the statement.

The new revelations come just 33 days left before the election, making Trump's uphill climb with women voters even more challenging.

Just 24 percent of women view Trump favorably, according to the latest NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll from mid-September. In a two-way race, Trump polls two points higher with men, while Clinton leads Trump with women by 14 points.

Clinton has already made Trump's past words on women a key campaign issue, using audio clips in a recent advertisement of him saying "slob" and "pig" when speaking about women. The ad then asks "is this the president we want for our daughters?"

In the last debate, Clinton slammed Trump for allegedly calling former Miss Universe Alicia Machado "Miss Piggy" for gaining weight and "Miss Housekeeping" because she is Latino. Trump kept the matter alive for days, insisting Machado had indeed gained too much weight after winning the beauty pageant and tweeting that she was "disgusting" and alleging that she had a sex tape.

After the debate, an online NBC News/Survey Monkey poll found that 27 percent of likely women voters said the debate had made them think worse of Trump.

Trump has been repeatedly accused of misogyny, with critics citing his many interviews with shock jock Howard Stern, where the conversation often turned raunchy and crude, as well as his behavior on reality television show The Apprentice.

The Associated Press recently reported multiple allegations of inappropriate behavior towards women while he was on the show, based on interviews with more than 20 former cast a crew members of The Apprentice who said Trump was often lewd and derogatory about women on set.