Disgraced host Billy Bush is returning to television after being fired for his part in the “p***y tape” controversy. Bush will return to Extra almost three years after the recorded conversation surfaced between him and then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump talking about groping women.
According to The Hill, Bush played the role of a victim during an interview with CBS News’s Gayle King, saying that the tape was well-known around NBC. The tape was possessed by an Access Hollywood producer, so he was shocked when it hit the airwaves as part of a political message.
“Everybody did [know about it],” Bush said. “Well, everybody at the network. I was comfortable that it wasn’t going to be weaponized.”
But to his surprise, it was used as a way to paint Trump in a negative light.
“I was not prepared for what happened, because it happened, like so often things do these days, like that. Took the car to the airport, got on the plane, and boom,” Bush said.
Bush insisted that everyone at the network knew about the tape and he felt it was “weaponized” against him and Trump. He also said that he was told his job was safe on the day that the tape was released.
“I got taken out, but I wasn’t the target,” he said.
King pushed Bush, asking if he was upset with Trump for the tape, which showed the now-president bragging about his status as a celebrity. He said this enabled him to grab women. In the fallout after the tape aired, Trump was criticized for his language and Bush was fired from Today. Trump then went on to win the 2016 election to become president.
“Are you angry at Donald Trump?” King asked.
“No. Not for that,” Bush said. “No. I mean, he was being him. I think part of that personality and character was why he was successful in a boardroom, making people fight over lemonade stands.”
Bush added that he felt pressured to go along with Trump’s offensive remarks because he didn’t want to anger the network or their guest on the show. He said that he felt anxious around the Apprentice star and just wanted the segment to be done.
The host also said that his cousin, George W. Bush, called him in the wake of the scandal and advised him to just go along with what the network was suggesting.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, the former host says that being fired upended his life. Bush will resume his role as a host on Extra on Monday.