Trump has privately questioned authenticity of 'Access Hollywood' tape, sources say

After the tape appeared, he acknowledged the comments and apologized.

Trump has repeated the claim to advisers in recent weeks and even a Republican senator earlier this year, sources said. The news of his comments was first reported by The New York Times.

After the recording was released, then-candidate Trump acknowledged he made the comments and apologized in a televised address from Trump Tower.

Before the president broke his silence and defended Moore, she forcefully weighed in, telling The Associated Press, "There is a special place in hell for people who prey on children. I've yet to see a valid explanation, and I have no reason to doubt the victims' accounts."

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.