Five words are once again coming back to haunt President Donald Trump: “Grab them by the pussy.”
That’s what Trump told “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush in 2005 that was picked up by a microphone, a recording that wasn’t unearthed until October 2016, one month before the election.
Now, UltraViolet, a women’s advocacy organization, wants to make sure people don’t forget: The man making sexually aggressive remarks in the recording is now in the White House. On Friday, the group played the recording — complete with video, audio and subtitles — on a nonstop loop on a giant 10-by-16-foot screen set up on the National Mall near the White House.
“We really just want to remind the American people who Donald Trump is, and who he explicitly told us who he was in this videos: A self-possessed, proud sexual predator,” Emma Boorboor, a campaign director for UltraViolet, told CNN.
The group, which works to expand women’s rights and fight sexism, came up with the idea about a month ago, anticipating the one-year anniversary of the leaking of the recording on October 7. They promoted it through Facebook alongside other organizations including Resist Here, Beyond the Bomb, Working Families Party, Generation Progress and CREDO Mobile.
Dozens showed up for the groups’ “Rally to Grab Back” Friday, holding signs that read “Stop Rape Culture, Stop Trump” and “I Stand with Survivors.” As the protestors rallied, they chanted slogans like “When women are under attack, what do we do? Stand up. Fight back” while tourists passed them by.
“The same systems of white supremacy and patriarchy that got a sexual predator elected to be the President of the United States, are the same systems leading the march toward war right now,” Lillyanne Daigle, deputy director of Beyond the Bomb, said during the rally. “He didn’t see these women as autonomous people. He saw them as pussies he could grab with impunity.”
When asked about how the appropriateness about Trump’s lewd comments being displayed at a public location — for all, including children to see — Boorboor said: “These aren’t our words. Sadly, they are the words of the President of the United States. He should have to explain his use of them. Not us.”
Last year, then-candidate Trump apologized for the footage. In a 90-second video, he told voters that he is not a “perfect person” and that the words captured by a hot mic in 2005 “don’t reflect who I am.”
The White House did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment about the video footage being projected on the mall.
UltraViolet, which hired a security guard to monitor the site, will air the footage on the mall through 9 p.m. ET. As of Friday afternoon, the live stream on Facebook had garnered about 92,000 views.
“The thing that was most jarring to me was that today, there were lots of groups of students coming to DC to learn about American history,” Boorboor said. “And just having this realization that this is our history now.”