Trump says Access Hollywood tape wasn't him

US President Donald Trump has privately expressed doubt about the authenticity of the Access Hollywood tape.
US President Donald Trump has expressed doubt about the authenticity of the Access Hollywood tape. Photo credit: Getty

Donald Trump claims he never said that famous men can grab women "by the p***y".

The US President has privately told a Senator and advisor that he doubts the authenticity of the Access Hollywood tape, the New York Times reported.

The tape, which contained audio of a conversation between Mr Trump and TV host Billy Bush, was released just weeks before the November 2016 presidential election.

The two men could be heard having an aggressively sexual conversation about women, with Mr Trump apparently boasting that he felt free to commit sexual assault because "when you're a star, they let you do it". 

At the time, it was expected to destroy Mr Trump's chances of winning the presidency, but he faced almost no repercussions for his comments.

Now he's trying to sow doubt that it was his voice on the tape, despite already admitting and apologising for his involvement more than a year ago.

Mr Trump's suggestion that the tape was a hoax was first reported on Saturday (local time) by the New York Times, in an article about the President's refusal to withdraw support for Roy Moore, the Alabama Senate candidate accused of child molestation. 

The article suggested that Mr Trump saw the accusations against Mr Moore as similar to the criticism he received for his own comments about non-consensual sexual activity.

"He suggested to a senator earlier this year that it was not authentic and repeated that claim to an advisor more recently," the article stated.

CNN producer Vaughn Sterling tweeted his incredulity about the article's claim that Mr Trump denied his involvement in the tape.

Maggie Haberman, one of the journalists behind the article, replied confirming that the information had not been reported before, despite Mr Trump allegedly denying the tape's authenticity since January 2017.

Hours after its release in October 2016, Mr Trump issued an apology for the tape and made no attempts to deny that the voice heard making crude comments was his own.