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On anniversary of 'Access Hollywood' tape's release, Trump criticizes Harvey Weinstein

 (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)
(Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)

President Trump took a swipe at Harvey Weinstein on Saturday evening, saying he was “not at all surprised” by revelations that the Hollywood movie mogul has repeatedly paid to settle charges of sexual harassment.

The timing of Trump’s remarks to White House reporters, in an exchange as he left for a Republican fundraiser in North Carolina, was notable: They came on the anniversary of the preelection release of the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape from 2005, in which he bragged in vulgar terms about assaulting women by grabbing them by the genitals.

Trump shrugged off a question about the timing of his Weinstein remarks: “That’s locker room talk,” he said, according to a press pool report, echoing the defense he made at the time to multiple women's allegations that he had harassed them sexually.

On Friday, a group that says it was formed to fight sexism played the "Access Hollywood" tape repeatedly for 12 hours on the National Mall in Washington. 

Trump has a political motive to hit Weinstein, who has been a major Democratic fundraiser and was a supporter of his opponent last year, Hillary Clinton.

Trump told reporters he had known Weinstein a long time and “I’m not at all surprised to see it.” The Weinstein Co. announced Friday that Weinstein, one of Hollywood’s most visible and powerful producers, will take an indefinite leave of absence.

The New York Times reported that he had sexually harassed many employees and actresses over many years. On Friday, the Huffington Post reported that Weinstein had made unwanted sexual advances to a TV reporter, cornering her in a restaurant and masturbating in front of her.

Three board members resigned on Friday along with his legal advisor, Lisa Bloom. Democrats have come under pressure to refund donations, and a number have said they will donate the sums to charity.

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