Political News

Trump accuser: 'It's not shocking' Trump would doubt 'Access Hollywood' tape

Posted December 4, 2017 7:56 a.m. EST

— One of the women who has accused President Donald Trump of groping her says she isn't shocked that he has raised doubts about the authenticity of the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape.

Rachel Crooks' comments on CNN's "New Day" Monday morning come following a New York Times op-ed by former "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush, who weighed in on Trump for the first time in public since he was fired in the wake of the tape's release last fall.

Crooks has alleged to The New York Times that Trump forcibly kissed her inside Trump Tower in 2005. She told "New Day" that when she first saw the "Access Hollywood" tape -- in which Trump bragged about groping women as Bush and others laughed and cheered him on -- she felt that he was "basically admitting to the behavior that I was a victim of."

Numerous women publicly accused Trump of sexual assault during the campaign. He vigorously denied the allegations, and at one point threatened to sue his accusers, though he never did.

At the time of the tape's release, Trump quickly apologized for his comments. But according to recent Times reporting, he has privately doubted the authenticity of the tape and whether that was him on it.

Crooks said she wasn't shocked by Trump's reported claims.

"I think he's a pathological liar, and yeah, it's not shocking," she said.

In his op-ed, Bush affirms the tape's validity and challenges Trump.

"I will never know the fear you felt or the frustration of being summarily dismissed and called a liar, but I do know a lot about the anguish of being inexorably linked to Donald Trump," Bush wrote. "You have my respect and admiration. You are culture warriors at the forefront of necessary change."

Crooks said that when she read Bush's piece, she was picturing Trump and the men on the bus.

"And I was thinking, at that point it would have been great to say that talk is not OK," she said, adding that she hopes attitudes around sexual harassment "will start to change, that men will sort of interject when other men are making comments like that or actually acting on those types of behaviors, so it's not just the women coming forward."