Dec 3, 2017

Inside the Trump campaign on Access Hollywood day

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

World coronavirus updates: Total cases surge to over 700,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

There are now than more than 700,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The virus has now killed more than 32,000 people — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Saturday he would issue a "strong" travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 704,095 — Total deaths: 33,509 — Total recoveries: 148,824.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 132,637 — Total deaths: 2,351 — Total recoveries: 2,612.
  3. Federal government latest: The first federal prisoner to die from coronavirus was reported from a correctional facility in Louisiana on Sunday.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "really panicked" people
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reported 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reported almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Cuomo: Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "really panicked people"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press conference Sunday that President Trump's unexpected Saturday announcement of a possible "short-term" quarantine of New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut to curb the spread of the coronavirus "really panicked people."

Why it matters: Though Trump ruled out the mandatory quarantine later that day, Cuomo said people still called "all night long" asking about the comments and many likely fled the New York area — possibly spreading the virus further.