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Former “Today” show contributor and “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush blasted NBC on Friday, the fifth anniversary of the day he was fired for a recorded private conversation he had with then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump when Trump was a guest on “Access Hollywood.”
The now-infamous tape features Bush responding with non-committal remarks as Trump, who was, at the time, the host of “The Apprentice” on NBC, lectured on how he approached women, using graphic terms for the female anatomy. Bush did not appear, on the tape, to specifically object to Trump’s explanation.
Bush was fired shortly thereafter over the tape. Trump initially apologized, then explained the incident as “locker room talk.” He went on to win the 2016 election despite the crude conversation, which Democrats had likely hoped would award momentum to the Democrat’s 2016 presidential contender, Hillary Clinton.
Bush took to his Instagram Friday to address the incident, five years later.
“Billy Bush accused NBC on Thursday of having ‘sacrificed’ him in 2016 when he was fired over the infamous ‘Access Hollywood’ tape of Donald Trump making crude remarks about women,” Fox News reported. “Calling it the five-year anniversary of the ‘worst day of my life,’ Bush railed against his former network in an Instagram post. NBC dismissed him from a hosting gig on ‘Today’ shortly after the 2005 tape came to light, where Bush could be heard laughing as Trump boasted on a hot mic that he could kiss and grope women because he was famous.”
“Today is the 5 year anniversary of the worst day of my life,” Bush said on Instagram.
Bush then excoriated NBC for, he claims, deliberately putting him in a difficult position in order to take down Trump.
“[T]he family that raised me professionally sacrificed me in an instant for their own political gain,” he said, referencing NBC. “Let’s be real. Ultimately, they lost because HE somehow won. I barely survived the cascade of anxiety and despair. It lasted years. I am stronger because of it today, a better more empathetic guy I hope.”
“I field calls from people in need of counsel still all the time,” he added. “I have a plan creatively to use this experience to help heal the culture. These are good things.”
Bush then noted that his father, Jonathan, former President George W. Bush’s uncle, was deeply affected by the matter.
“I am deeply grateful for the man who felt it as deeply as I did, my dad, I know the heart ache took an awful toll on him,” Bush continued. “He is in heaven. I always stop on this day to feel it. But I end up thinking about the pain of others which means I’m in a much better place. Thank you Sydney, kids, Bob, Jill, mom, John, Lisa G, Mike, Jack and of course my beloved Dad. Ok, back to the program in progress.”
Bush has spoken about the matter before, but infrequently. In 2017, he told Good Morning America that he “wish I had stopped” the conversation with Trump, “[b]ut I didn’t have the strength of character at the time.”