'Today' Show Addresses Billy Bush's Suspension Over His 2005 Conversation With Donald Trump

by Jackie Willis 10:15 AM PDT, October 10, 2016
Playing 'Today' Show Addresses Billy Bush's Suspension Over His 2005 Conversation With Donald Trump

Billy Bush was not on Monday's Today show following news that he was suspended by NBC after a lewd 2005 conversation with Donald Trump was made public.

In a video released by The Washington Post on Friday, Trump can be heard talking to then-Access Hollywood co-host Bush about kissing and groping women and trying to seduce a married woman. In response, Bush is heard joking and laughing with Trump on the tape.

Tamron Hall and Al Roker anchored the third hour of Today without Bush, and briefly made mention of his absence. "As you can see, Billy Bush is not here joining us today, as you're probably aware, part of that 2005 Access Hollywood taping with Trump that's been in the news all week," Roker began.

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"NBC, which owns Access Hollywood, has suspended Billy for his role in that conversation pending further review," Hall continued.

Today co-anchor Savannah Guthrie also addressed Bush's suspension earlier in the show while discussing Sunday night's presidential debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton. "We want to note one other thing, pending further review of the matter, NBC News has suspended Billy Bush, host of Today’s third hour, for his role in that conversation with Donald Trump," Guthrie told viewers.

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After the release of the video by The Washington Post on Friday, Bush, 44, gave a statement regarding his behavior. "Obviously I'm embarrassed and ashamed," he said. "It's no excuse, but this happened 11 years ago. I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I'm very sorry."

On Monday's Today show, Hall and Roker spoke more in detail about the debate itself and agreed that they weren't comfortable with children watching the political coverage, seeing as Trump's 2005 comments were addressed.

Roker said that his 14-year old son was given a school assignment to watch the debate, and "felt badly that this is what they had to watch, especially the topic matter in the first 10 minutes was very cringeworthy."

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"I don’t, at this point, believe anyone under the age of 18 should watch cable news," Hall added.

During the debate, moderators Anderson Cooper and Martha Raddatz inquired about Trump's controversial remarks, and asked the 70-year-old business mogul if he'd ever committed sexual assault, as was alluded to in the tapes. "No, I didn't say that at all. I don't think you understood what was said. This was locker room talk," Trump responded. "I'm not proud of it. I apologize to my family, I apologize to the American people."

Trump held a press conference before the debate with several women who previously accused former president Bill Clinton of sexual harassment. Some of those women also attended the debate and were reportedly seated in the front row of the theater.

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