At the start of the program, Matt Lauer gave a statement in regard to his former co-worker's departure. "NBC News announced last night Billy would be leaving the Today show immediately, noting that he was a valued colleague and longtime member of the broader NBC family," the co-anchor said. "And of course, all of us here at Today wish Billy the very best."
Tamron Hall also acknowledged Bush's exit, and that Harry Connick, Jr. was filling in for him. "As you may have heard, our former co-host Billy Bush is no longer with the Today show. This comes after his involvement in an Access Hollywood taping with Donald Trump in 2005," she said. "As a longtime member of the NBC family, we wish Billy all the best as he moves forward."
On Monday afternoon, ET confirmed that Bush was leaving Today, following the release of a 2005 tape in which he's heard laughing and joking as Donald Trump makes lewd comments about women. "Billy Bush will be leaving the Today show’s 9am hour, effective today," the morning show's senior VP Noah Oppenheim wrote in an internal memo to the program's staff. "While he was a new member of the Today team, he was a valued colleague and longtime member of the broader NBC family. We wish him success as he goes forward."
Bush also released a statement to ET following his termination. "I am deeply grateful for the conversations I’ve had with my daughters, and for all of the support from family, friends and colleagues," he said. "I look forward to what lies ahead."
The 45-year-old TV personality had appeared on the third hour of NBC's Today show since August. He was suspended indefinitely on Oct. 9, two days after The Washington Post leaked video of a vulgar conversation between Trump and Bush, who was then co-host of Access Hollywood.