NBC News was preparing to release the audio recording of Donald Trump’s hot mic for almost four days before they were scooped by the Washington Post. According to a network executive, NBC held on to the recording — in which Trump eagerly participated in what he called “locker room banter” — for so long because lawyers were still reviewing it.
The Post, on the other hand, took only five hours to inspect and post the video, meaning that the newspaper was able to break one of the biggest stories of the 2016 election. The footage, which captures Trump in 2005 bragging about repeatedly sexually assaulting women, has resulted in dozens of GOP lawmakers withdrawing their support from the real estate mogul — and even calling for him to step aside. Trump, however, has vowed to remain on the ticket.
NBC first became aware of the recording on Monday, after producers from Access Hollywood notified them of the clip. NBC had been scouring their archives for Trump footage, primarily as it related to his time as the host of The Apprentice. According to the Post, “The news division agreed to let Access Hollywood break the story first, given that it had shot and unearthed the tape … But the tape languished, unseen by the public, for several days after it first came to light.”
As NBC’s lawyers spent days trying to decide whether Trump would have grounds to sue the network, an anonymous individual — who is assumed to be someone within NBC — called Post reporter David Fahrenthold and showed him how to find the clip. Within five hours, the paper had published with the story.
NBC has no plans to investigate the source of the leak, according to network sources quoted in the Post.
(Via The Washington Post)