Donald Trump has faced so many scandals—from corruption to sexual assault—that people don't talk a whole lot about the pee pee tape. Maybe that's because even by Trump standards, the whole thing seems ridiculously implausible. Or maybe that's because it's just really gross and seedy, not to mention unverified. Or maybe people just figure other things matter more, and those people would probably be right. But Tom Arnold's Hunt for the Trump Tapes would be woefully lacking if the comedian—and, uh, investigative television host?—didn't try to find the most explosive video of them all. Your questions about it are answered below:
Q: WHAT’S THE TRUMP PEE PEE TAPE?
A: It all started with the famed Steele dossier. Compiled in 2016 by former British intelligence officer and Russian specialist Christopher Steele, the dossier is a collection of 17 reports on Trump from Steele’s sources, including many inside Russia. Steele was hired by Fusion GPS, a political research firm in DC, which was, in turn, hired by the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign. It circulated among media and political types, then BuzzFeed published the dossier shortly after Trump’s election.
The most salacious thing in there was Trump’s alleged “perverted conduct” while visiting Moscow in 2013. One memo claimed Trump rented out the presidential suite of the Moscow Ritz Carlton that had once hosted Barack and Michelle Obama, then hired “a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden showers’ show in front of him,” “defiling” the bed the Obamas had once stayed in (via). According to the dossier’s source, the hotel was being bugged by Russia’s security services, meaning the Russian government acquired blackmail material against the guy who would go on to become the president of the US.
Q: OH YEAH I REMEMBER ALL THIS
A: Yeah, the public obviously seized on the pee pee tape as the star of the dossier, with memes springing up every day and late night host Stephen Colbert even going so far as to travel to Moscow to stay in the presidential “pee pee” room suite for a night. There were arguably more important things in the dossier—one major point of public debate has been how much the dossier was relied on by federal authorities to obtain a wiretap on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page—but the question of whether this tape actually exists is one of the more "fun" things to speculate about.
Q: SO DOES THIS TAPE EXIST?
A: Here’s what we know. Trump was in Moscow in 2013 for the Miss Universe pageant. And while memos written by former FBI Director James Comey claim Trump told him the allegations couldn’t be true because he hadn’t stayed overnight in Russia during the trip, Trump’s flight records indicate he was in Moscow for nearly 46 hours, arriving Friday, November 8, at 6:15 AM and leaving at 3:58 AM that Sunday. We also know that all four of Steele’s sources on the pee tape had only second-hand knowledge of it—none of them had seen it themselves or spoken to the prostitutes allegedly involved. That being said, according to the dossier, these sources included “a former top-level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin,” a “member of the staff at the hotel,” a “female staffer at the hotel when trump had stayed there,” and “a close associate of Trump who had organized and managed his recent trips to Moscow.” So as far as four people claiming the same story go, they’re far from random bystanders.
Whatever you believe, there’s no definitive proof this event occurred. But plenty of people—including Tom Arnold—think there’s reason enough to keep hunting for the tape. Tune into The Hunt for the Trump Tapes with Tom Arnold this Tuesday on VICELAND to hear more about his search.