Billy Bush Suspended from 'Today' Show for Lewd Hot Mic Comments: 'There's No Excuse'
Billy Bush has been suspended from the Today show after a lewd conversation he had with Donald Trump was caught on a hot mic and released on Friday.
In a memo to Today staffers, a show executive said, "There is simply no excuse for Billy's language and behavior on that tape.”
Bush wasn’t part of the show on Monday. Al Roker, the show’s meteorologist, said on-air, “As you can see, Billy Bush is not joining us today. As you are probably aware, [he was] part of that 2005 Access Hollywood taping with Donald Trump that's been in the news all weekend.
Tamron Hall, one of the show’s anchors, said, “NBC, which owns Access Hollywood, suspended Billy for his role in that conversation, pending further review.”
Meanwhile, Bush didn't say a word when he was peppered with questions at Los Angeles International Airport. But he did issue a statement, saying he's "obviously embarrassed and ashamed" and that he "acted foolishly in playing along."
On the 2005 tape, Trump admits that he once tried to seduce Nancy O'Dell, who was then Bush's co-host on Access Hollywood and is now co-host of Entertainment Tonight.
“I moved on her, actually. You know, she was down in Palm Beach. I moved on her, and I failed,” Trump is heard saying.
“I'll admit it. I did try and f*** her. She was married. I moved on her very heavily. I moved on her like a b****. But I couldn't get there. And she was married,” he said.
Trump continued, “And when you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything.”
O'Dell said of the comments: “It was disappointing to hear such objectification of women. No female, no person, should be the subject of such crass comments, whether or not cameras are rolling.”
When the vulgar comments were made, Trump had been married to Melania for just eight months. And she was pregnant.
“Grab them by the p***y. You can do anything," said Trump on the tape.
“Whatever you want,” said another voice, apparently Bush’s.
The two were headed to the set of Days of Our Lives, where Trump was taping a cameo with soap star Arianne Zucker, who caught Trump's eye while he was inside the bus.
“I've got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait," said Trump
Trump and Bush noticed Zucker, waiting to escort them into the soap-opera set.
“Your girl’s hot as s***, in the purple,” said Bush.
When they stepped off the bus, the actress was there to greet them — and there was a cringe-worthy moment: “How about a little hug for the Donald?” Bush said. “He just got off the bus.”
Trump's appearance on the show was even spoofed On Saturday Night Live back in 2005, with Darrell Hammond playing Trump and Amy Poehler as the actress.
Zucker said of the tape: “How we treat one another, whether behind closed doors, locker rooms or face to face, should be done with kindness, dignity and respect. Unfortunately, there are too many people in power who abuse their position and disregard these simple principles and are rewarded for it."
She continued, ”In understanding the magnitude of this situation, I choose to stand tall with self-respect and use my voice to enrich, inspire and elevate the best of who we are as people.”
Melania is now calling her husband's words "unacceptable and offensive," but she stood by him at Monday night's presidential debate.