Today briefly addressed Billy Bush’s suspension Monday morning, three days after a vulgar conversation between the then-Access Hollywood host and Donald Trump from 2005 leaked.
After showing a portion of the leaked tape and the exchange between Trump and Bush – which featured the Republican nominee saying that celebrities can “get away with anything [with women]. Grab them by the pussy” – host Savannah Guthrie told viewers, “We do want to note one other thing: Pending further review of the matter, NBC News has suspended Billy Bush, the host of Today‘s third hour, for his role in that conversation with Donald Trump.”
During the show’s 9 a.m. hour, which Bush has hosted since moving from Access Hollywood to Today in May, Al Roker and Tamron Hall instead guided the program.
“As you can see Billy Bush is not joining us today, as you’re probably aware, [he was] part of that 2005 Access Hollywood taping with Donald Trump that’s been in the news all weekend,” Roker told viewers. Hall added, “NBC, which owns Access Hollywood, has suspended Billy for his role in that conversation pending further review.”
While Today itself didn’t comment further on Bush’s suspension, the show’s online news story about the situation included an internal memo from senior vice president Noah Oppenheim.
“I know we’ve all been deeply troubled by the revelations of the past 48 hours,” Oppenheim wrote. “Let me be clear — there is simply no excuse for Billy’s language and behavior on that tape. NBC has decided to suspend Billy, pending further review of this matter.”
(While Bush is currently on indefinite suspension, an NBC source told CNN that Bush “will never be on the show again.”)
In a statement Friday after the tape leaked, Bush said in a statement, “Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed. 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.”