Bush had been previously suspended over his remarks on a 2005 tape The Washington Post published Friday that captured Donald Trump on a hot microphone making extremely lewd comments about women and talking about groping them. Trump was with Bush to film an “Access Hollywood” segment plugging an upcoming soap opera cameo, and Bush — then a host on the news-entertainment program — is heard laughing, joking with Trump and talking about ogling women.
On Monday, the “Today” show briefly mentioned the suspension during its telecast. By Tuesday, digital billboards outside of the show’s 30 Rockefeller Center headquarters didn’t appear to carry Bush’s likeness.
Bush has remained quiet in the fallout. “Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed,” he said in a statement Friday, his only public comment about the tape. “It’s no excuse, but this happened eleven years ago — I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry.”
Bush, 44, worked for radio before transitioning to an NBC affiliate in New York. The nephew of President George H.W. Bush and cousin to President George W. Bush joined “Access Hollywood” in 2001. He also frequently appeared on the “Today” show. In May, the network announced Bush would join the morning program as a full-time co-anchor, appearing on the 9 a.m. hour typically featuring light entertainment and celebrities.
“Today” show co-anchor Billy Bush, who has found himself in the middle of a firestorm related to his appearance in a video that featured Donald Trump making lewd remarks about women, is working on a separation deal with NBC, according to people familiar with negotiations.