Billy Bush Says Fallout From ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape Has Changed How He Approaches Interviews

“I look forward to sitting with people who have been through something,” says new host of “Extra”

In a Tuesday appearance on “CBS This Morning,” Billy Bush talked to Gayle King about the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape that resulted in him losing his gig at NBC, but did not result in Donald Trump losing the presidential election just a month after its release. He said he’s not angry at Trump and he’s learned a thing or two about being a good interviewer since America heard him laughing as the future president said stars can grab women “by the p—-.”

When asked if he was angry at Trump over the tape, which was already over a decade old when it was released in the fall of 2016, Bush responded, “No. I mean, he was being him.”

He continued, “I think part of that personality and character was why he was successful in a boardroom.”

Bush had never “really been through anything difficult,” he told King when recounting what it was like to find himself in the middle of the news cycle that, by his account, launched the #MeToo movement. (He called #MeToo “a good thing.”)

He was ready for a reckoning, he said, and believes that the post-“Access Hollywood” tape experience has made him more prepared for interviews in his new role as the host of “Extra.”

Asked if he sees it as a “second chance” or a “comeback,” Bush responded, “I guess it’s a little bit of all those things. For me, it’s returning to my love. I’m very grateful to return to what I love to do.”

“I look forward to interviews,” he said. “I look forward to sitting with people who have been through something. And I hope that they look forward to sitting with me, because they know, ‘Well, there’s one person that’s not gonna be gettin’ super-judge-y on me from their perch.’ … I’m interested in watching what people go through. I’m interested in their emotional, psychological well-being. If they’ve, you know, erred? Own it, and then you know what? Let people forgive them.”