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Screengrab via Youtube.

The Washington Post got an early copy of the insider campaign book by former Trump officials Corey Lewandowski and Dave Bossie. Per WashPo, here's their account of the day the Trump campaign learned about the Access Hollywood tape:

  • It was [Hope] Hicks who, on Oct. 7, took a call from a Washington Post reporter about a video from "Access Hollywood" in which Trump boasted about how he could "grab" women "by the p---y." Trump looked at a transcript and said "that doesn't sound like something I would say." It was Bossie, who served as the deputy campaign manager, who played the video for Trump on his iPad. The campaign came up with the response that it was "locker room" talk.

I can give you a little more insider detail on that day, from my own conversations with sources who were in the room with Trump. They were in the middle of debate prep when they learned about the Access Hollywood tape.

Here's what happened:

When the campaign only had possession of the Washington Post transcript of the Access Hollywood video — but not the video itself — Trump's top aides sat around a conference table in Trump Tower to discuss whether the foul-mouthed person in the transcript was actually Trump.

  • One line jumped out at them: "And I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, 'I'll show you where they have some nice furniture.'"

Incredulous, a senior campaign official asked Trump: "You took a woman furniture shopping?"

Trump immediately replied: "I just want to make one thing clear: I've never taken anyone furniture shopping."

The room broke out laughing. Not long after, the Washington Post put the video online. There'd be a lot less laughter after that.

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”