NBC News, Fearing Lawsuit, Sat on Trump Tape for Days

By Mark Joyella 

NBC News had prepared a story on the Access Hollywood audio that has rocked the presidential campaign of Donald Trump, but held the story for days, fearing a lawsuit, opening the door to The Washington Post to scoop NBC on the story.

As NBC sat on the explosive story, a source called Post reporter David Fahrenthold late Friday morning, tipping him to the story and directing him to a copy of the audio. The Post reported Sunday morning that the newspaper “reported and posted its story within five hours.”

Screen Shot 2016-10-07 at 9.20.59 PMA network executive told the Post NBC had been alerted that the paper was working the story, and “finally decided to go with the story it had been holding all week.” But NBC still didn’t go with the story. “It waited until The Post’s account was online and aired its story on MSNBC seven minutes later. Access Hollywood broadcast a piece later that evening.”

The source told The Post “numerous people” had access to the audio, including employees at Access Hollywood, NBC News and corporate executives. The network has no plans to investigate the source of the leak.