The former soap actress who greeted Donald Trump after he made the now-infamous graphic comments on the Access Hollywood bus in 2005 told Anderson Cooper Monday that it was ‘puzzling’ how the president is now doubting the tape’s authenticity.
“I don’t know how else that could be fake unless someone’s planting words in your mouth,” Arianne Zucker told Cooper during his 360 show on CNN. “How do you apologize for something and renege on it? It’s puzzling to me.”
Over the weekend, the New York Times reported that Trump denied the tape was real to associates. That prompted Access Hollywood to address the president’s claims at the end of Monday’s show. “Let us make this absolutely clear. The tape is very real,” hosts Kit Hoover and Natalie Morales said.
On the tape that was first reported last October by The Washington Post, Trump is heard commenting on Zucker’s legs and saying he wants to “use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her.” Before beginning a tour of the set of Days of Our Lives, on which he would cameo, Trump added, “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.”
After the story went viral, the then-Republican presidential nominee issued an apology. “This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”
On Monday, Zucker told Cooper she’s speaking out because “I want to make sure my daughter doesn’t have to go through these harassment issues. Every woman I’ve known has been harassed. I hope by coming here, I can help by being a voice … we are in such a difficult time right now.”
Zucker left Days of Our Lives in October. AH host Billy Bush, who engaged in the banter with Trump, lost his Today job a week after the Post story about the tape was published.
Watch the full interview above.