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Wed Jul 10, 2019, 04:09 PM

How the 'Access Hollywood' incident gave us the Trump we recognize today

A critical effect of the "Access Hollywood" tape was that it reinforced to Trump that his shoot-someone-on-Fifth-Avenue instincts were correct.



Politics • Analysis

How the ‘Access Hollywood’ incident gave us the Trump we recognize today

By Philip Bump
July 10 at 2:07 PM

Over the course of about an hour on Oct. 7, 2016, three things happened that reshaped that year’s presidential election and, with it, the United States.

Around 3:30 p.m., the Department of Homeland Security and the director of national intelligence issued a public warning about Russian efforts to interfere with the election, including compromising email accounts belonging to Americans. An hour later, an example of that hacking became public as WikiLeaks began dumping material stolen from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta — material stolen by Russians, according to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Each of those developments was significant in its own way. But neither had the short- or long-term impact of the event that landed directly in between them: The Washington Post’s reporting on then-candidate Donald Trump’s 2005 comments during a taping for “Access Hollywood,” in which he’s heard bragging about grabbing women’s genitals.

Politico’s Tim Alberta has a new book in which we hear in detail for the first time how the campaign handled the situation as it first came to its attention. The Post’s David Fahrenthold sent questions to the campaign before the story’s publication — an email that arrived, according to an excerpt of Alberta’s book published on Wednesday, as the candidate and his team were preparing for an upcoming debate. Trump at first claimed that it didn’t sound like language he would use, a claim backed up by campaign adviser Kellyanne Conway, of all people. After hearing the audio, though, Trump and his team scrambled to figure out how to respond — or if they still had any shot at all. ... It's that struggle — is Trump doomed? — that's particularly revelatory.
....

Trump learned a two-part lesson from that election. Part one was precisely that he could trust his own political instincts over the so-called experts like Priebus — without the important asterisk that his triumph over conventional thinking was something of a fluke. Part two was that demanding loyalty from his supporters and his putative political allies even in the roughest seas would result in that loyalty being delivered. ... Few of the unusual moves by Trump as president can’t be traced back to one of those two theories. Both were lessons he learned clearly for the first time on Oct. 7, 2016.

Philip Bump is a correspondent for The Washington Post based in New York. Before joining The Post in 2014, he led politics coverage for the Atlantic Wire. Follow https://twitter.com/pbump

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Reply How the 'Access Hollywood' incident gave us the Trump we recognize today (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Jul 10 OP
Blue_Tires Jul 10 #1

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Wed Jul 10, 2019, 04:30 PM

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