It’s pretty clear that Donald Trump doesn’t exist in the same reality as the rest of us, or at least he thinks he doesn’t, which is why he can declare that proven facts are “fake news,” why he thinks it’s anything but horrifically tacky to coat everything he owns in gold, and why he just generally seems like such a big fucking idiot. Recently, Trump has been making another attempt to drag us all down into his world, telling multiple people that the Access Hollywood tape—the one where he said, “Grab them by the pussy”—isn’t real. Apparently, he told a senator earlier this year that it was fake, and he repeated that to an adviser at some point after that, suggesting that he’s trying to spread the lie—and it is a lie—that he never said, “I moved on her like a bitch,” “I just start kissing them… I don’t even wait,” or any other highlights from the tape that got Billy Bush fired but had virtually no effect on Trump’s path to the White House.
Trump’s sudden decision to deny the authenticity of the tape was acknowledged in a larger New York Times piece about his wholly unsurprising decision to endorse accused pedophile and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore (apparently the Gray Lady took a break from Nazi puff pieces this weekend), with the paper correctly noting that Trump actually admitted the tape was real. Shortly after it came out last October, Trump dismissed the recording as “locker room banter” and apologized “if anyone was offended,” implying that he had no doubt that it was real.
The Times story doesn’t go into this topic any further, but it’s probably giving Trump far too much credit to assume that this rewriting of facts is a response to the movement to expose accused sexual harassers and predators in various fields. It seems much more likely that he’s such a narcissistic fiend that he has actually convinced himself the tape was fake, and he’s just adapting our reality to line up with the one that only exists in his head.