The untold story of what was happening behind the scenes in the aftermath of the notorious “Access Hollywood” tape leak that almost derailed Donald Trump's presidential run in 2016 has surfaced.
The “Access Hollywood” tape featured the then-“Apprentice” host claimed he could grab and kiss women whenever he wanted.
Political journalist Tim Alberta is the author of "American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump.” He writes that the Trump campaign was blindsided by the tape, which came out just one month before the November 2016 election.
"What I attempted to do was essentially reconstruct the 72 hours that encapsulated the entire ‘Access Hollywood’ fiasco," Alberta told Inside Edition.
It was former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks who Alberta says handed Trump a transcript of the tape that was about to be published by The Washington Post.
"What happens next is fascinating, Donald Trump says, ‘This does not sound like me.’ He is convinced and so are some of his senior staff," Alberta said.
Then the tape was played on a laptop, Alberta writes.
"This is this very dramatic moment, one of Trump’s staffers pulls out the iPad, they listen to the audio, and Trump sort of sinks back in his chair and says, ‘Welp, that is me.’”
Many in the Republican leadership immediately implored Trump to get out of the race.
Trump did not drop out of the race and instead taped an apology.
The new book claims Trump was especially concerned about how his vice president pick Mike Pence would take the news. Pence is a devout Christian. In a detail pertinent to Alberta's story, he calls his wife "mother."
"When Donald Trump got off the phone Friday afternoon with Mike Pence hearing how upset his running mate was and knowing Mike Pence was going back to Indiana to pray this over and to talk with his wife – Donald Trump hangs up the phone, he looks around at his advisers and says, ‘Oh boy, mother is not going to like this,'" Alberta claims.
Then, days later, Trump went on the attack, bringing four women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct to a presidential debate.
"It was going to be all about Donald Trump sending these women to stalk the Clintons rather than it being about Donald Trump still reeling from the ‘Access Hollywood’ tape," Alberta said.
The "Access Hollywood" scandal proved to be just a pothole on Trump's way to Pennsylvania Avenue.
"That is the perfect window into the Trump candidacy, [that] he was able to succeed by breaking so many of the rules of conventional politics," Alberta said.