Bannon calls ‘Access Hollywood’ scandal a ‘litmus test’ for Trump’s GOP allies

Bannon calls ‘Access Hollywood’ scandal a ‘litmus test’ for Trump’s GOP allies
© Getty Images

Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon said the response to the scandal surrounding a leaked “Access Hollywood” tape during the 2016 presidential race was a “litmus test” for President Trump’s Republican allies.

In an interview Sunday on “60 Minutes,” Bannon said the fallout from the release of the 2005 video — in which Trump can be heard making sexually aggressive remarks about women to television host Billy Bush — proved decisive when selecting members of Trump’s future Cabinet.

“The Billy Bush Saturday is a litmus test. It’s a litmus test,” Bannon told host Charlie Rose, referring to the day after The Washington Post first reported on the footage.

Bannon, now executive chairman of Breitbart News, said New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) was among those who didn’t make the cut.


Several days after the scandal broke, Christie denounced Trump’s comments, calling them “completely indefensible” in a conversation on WFAN.

The governor’s response was apparently enough to have him denied a Cabinet position under Trump.

“I told him, ‘The plane leaves at 11 in the morning. If you’re on the plane, you’re on the team.’ Didn’t make the plane,” Bannon told Rose.

In the tape, Trump can be heard boasting to Bush about making unwanted sexual advances toward women.

“I don”t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ‘em by the p----. You can do anything,” Trump says.