A women’s advocacy group was playing the lewd “Access Hollywood” video of President Trump on a large screen Friday on the Mall. On repeat. Again and Again. For 12 hours straight.
The demonstration came the day before the first anniversary of when The Washington Post released the explosive footage showing Trump in 2005 bragging in vulgar terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women. The previously unaired footage was released Oct. 7, 2016, when Trump was the Republican presidential nominee.
At one point in the video, Trump says, “Grab them by the p---y” and “when you’re a star, they let you do it.”
UltraViolet, which says its goal is to fight sexism, organized the demonstration. The group rented a truck and a screen measuring about 10-by-16 feet to air the footage — which includes sound and subtitles — in front of the Washington Monument. While viewing the screen from the monument grounds, the White House can be seen in the background.
“We wanted to play the tape on loop to remind the people who the president said he is — a proud sexual predator,” said Emma Boorboor, a campaign director for UltraViolet.
The video began playing on loop about 9 a.m. Friday and was set to stop about 9 p.m.
The National Park Service issued permits for the group to bring the equipment to the Mall and play the video, said Mike Litterst, a spokesman for the agency. In its permit, UltraViolet described the video display as a First Amendment demonstration “against Trump being a sexual predator.”
After the video’s release, Trump said in a statement he regretted his “foolish” words.
Friday’s demonstration wasn’t appreciated by everyone on the Mall. Parents scurried past the screen so their children wouldn’t hear the profanity-laced video. One man questioned how such a setup could be allowed on federal land.
Others stopped to watch the video. Leon and Alisha Porter, who were visiting the nation’s capital from Ohio, stopped briefly and said they thought it was “great” that the advocacy group was showing it so prominently.
“It’s a good way to shed light on sexual harassment and sexual exploitation, especially in the shadows of George Washington’s monument,” Alisha Porter said.
UltraViolet also hosted a small protest Friday in front of the White House to bring attention to sexual violence against woman. Rallygoers held a banner that said “Grab Back. Stop Rape Culture. Stop Trump.” One participant held a sign that said “Oust the Predator-in-Chief.”
Sexual assault victims who spoke at the rally said Trump has pushed an agenda that’s hostile toward women, citing his administration rolling back Obama-era guidance on how colleges and universities should respond to sexual violence.
The Trump administration issued a rule Friday that would sharply limit the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage mandate.
“Donald Trump is actively pursuing an anti-woman agenda,” said Raquel Jackson-Stone, a community organizer in the District. “We’re out here to say women are here, we’re fighting back.”