Trump questions whether 'Access Hollywood' tape was 'illegal'

President TrumpDonald TrumpWhat blue wave? A close look at Texas today tells of a different story Democrats go down to the wire with Manchin Trump's former bodyguard investigated in NY prosectors' probe: report MORE on Tuesday called into question the legitimacy of an "Access Hollywood" tape in which he brags about groping and kissing women without their consent.

In an interview with The Daily Caller, Trump suggested the recording that was released just weeks before the 2016 election was "illegal" without offering concrete proof.

“There’s even questions about the tape, there’s many things going on," Trump told the conservative publication, claiming it "was done in a trailer secretly."

The Washington Post obtained and published the tape in October 2016. But Trump speculated that NBC leaked it to the newspaper.


“I had a lawsuit prepared, a lawsuit that was prepared to be filed against NBC because they leaked that tape,” Trump said.

“I had a lawyer hired to bring a suit right after the election ended, but one problem arose," Trump added. "I won the election.”

Trump acknowledged after the 2005 tape was released that it was his voice on the recording. He subsequently apologized for his comments, but sought to downplay them as "locker room talk" between him and then-host Billy Bush.

Trump has reportedly questioned the veracity of the "Access Hollywood" tape before. The New York Times reported in November that Trump told a senator and an adviser that he believes the recording may not be authentic.

"Access Hollywood" responded to the Times's report, telling viewers that the tape "is very real."

Trump's speculation over the legality of the recording marks his latest attack against NBC, a network he has long criticized since he left his job hosting "The Apprentice" to enter politics.

Earlier Tuesday, Trump renewed his threat to revoke the network's broadcasting license, citing controversy over its handling of Ronan Farrow's reporting on sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

“NBC FAKE NEWS, which is under intense scrutiny over their killing the Harvey Weinstein story, is now fumbling around making excuses for their probably highly unethical conduct,” the president tweeted on Tuesday.

“I have long criticized NBC and their journalistic standards-worse than even CNN. Look at their license?” he added.

Last week, as part of a broader tirade against the media, Trump claimed without evidence that the network "fudged" the tape of an interview with Lester Holt in May 2017, during which Trump said he fired ex-FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyMystery surrounds Justice's pledge on journalist records NYT publisher: DOJ phone records seizure a 'dangerous incursion' on press freedom Trump DOJ seized phone records of New York Times reporters MORE over the bureau's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

NBC responded to that allegation by sharing an extended version of the interview on its social media channels.