Reporters of all political persuasions united Monday to mock Donald and Melania Trump for the excuse Melania gave to CNN for her husband’s behavior on a hot mic in 2005. “He was egg on [sic] by the host to say dirty and bad stuff,” Melania Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an interview that aired Monday night.
The infamous audio can practically be recited by heart.
In the footage, then-Access Hollywood‘s Billy Bush can be heard whooping it up with Trump about what famous men can do with women. “Grab them by the pussy,” says Trump in the audio of a story first broken by The Washington Post‘s David Fahrentold.
“Who among us hasn’t had a spell cast on them by Billy Bush?” asked Ned Resnikoff, whose bio says he’ll soon be a senior editor at Think Progress.
And this from HuffPost senior reporter Jeffrey Young: “Sorry about making 23,500 bad tweets over the past seven years. I was trying to impress Billy Bush.”
Bush can be heard laughing heartily throughout the recording: “Sheesh, your girl’s hot as shit, in the purple,” said an especially animated Bush, who was officially fired from NBC’s “Today” show Monday, some three weeks after the audio surfaced. He was referring to Days of Our Lives soap opera actress Arianne Zucker, who appeared in a scene with Trump and greeted the two men outside an Access Hollywood tour bus. “Yes, the Donald has scored,” he continued. “Whoa, my man!”
Here’s more of the recording and Bush’s involvement:
TRUMP: “I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”
TRUMP: “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”
BUSH: “Whatever you want.”
TRUMP: “Grab them by the pussy.”
The media went on Twitter on Monday and spoke of all the preposterous things Billy Bush has made them do.
Alex Leo of The Daily Beast wrote, “I gave all my friends dysentery on the Oregon Trail #BillyBushMadeMeDoIt.”
Media Matters Research Fellow Oliver Willis’ mocking looked like this: “I don’t think we should break into the Watergate,” he wrote. “‘Bill Bush: DO IT’ #BillyBushMadeMeDoIt.”
Tina Dupuy, a Democratic press secretary for Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), wrote, “Hey Donald Trump how emasculating is it for your wife to tell everyone Billy Bush bullied you into using bad words? That’s gotta hurt.”
Mother Jones D.C.-based reporter Russ Schoma said, “Being susceptible to Billy Bush’s peer pressure is not a great quality in a president.”
The Washington Post‘s Dave Weigel didn’t make fun of Melania’s excuse as much as he knocked Bush.
“#StandWithBillyBush (not really),” Weigel tweeted.
Continuing on, Daniel Foster, a contributing editor at NationalReviewOnline, cracked, “Billy Bush once made me try a marijuana cigarette.”
Even Vox Editor-in-Chief Ezra Klein got in on the dump on Billy Bush fest.
“If you can’t stand up to Billy Bush, how will you stand up to China?” Klein asked.
Washington Examiner‘s T. Becket Adams, who previously worked for the right-leaning TheBlaze, remarked, “A guy who can be manipulated by Billy Bush is definitely the man you want taking on ISIS.”
That thought was mirrored by David Harsanyi, senior editor of The Federalist, who wrote, “If Trump can’t stand up to Billy Bush how will he stand up to ISIS?”
Jason Gilbert, senior editor of Fusion, had a somewhat darker reaction to Melania’s excuse:
“TRUMP: I respect all women.
BILLY BUSH: [devilish smile]: Oh really?
TRUMP: [feeling pressured] Actually I’m into sex crimes.”
Windsor Mann, editor of The Quotable Hitchens, wrote, “I just tweeted #BillyBushMadeMeDoIt 9 times because #BillyBushMadeMeDoIt.”