Billy Bush will not take his anchor chair during Monday’s “Today” show, an NBC News spokesperson confirmed to TheWrap.
Contrary to previous reports saying he would address the controversy around a taped conversation he had with Donald Trump in 2005, the newly-hired “Today” show host will not appear on air on Monday after all.
Bush was previously expected to appear during Monday’s 9 a.m. hour of “Today,” according to multiple reports, including The Wall Street Journal.
The former “Access Hollywood” host, who was hired by NBC’s popular morning show this year, was said to be ready to discuss the vulgar conversation he was engaged in with Donald Trump in 2005. But the 48 hours since the tape became public has led to a series of fast-moving events, including a cascade of Republicans withdrawing their support from Trump. An NBC insider said they were still considering the situation, and would be announcing more decisions in the coming hours.
NBC had previously not planned to discipline the “Today” co-anchor for taking part in the conversation, according to a WSJ report, which cited a senior NBC executive. But, the situation has been fluid as execs at the network may now be considering a stronger stance.
Bush already issued an apology in a statement, saying, “Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed. It’s no excuse, but this happened eleven years ago — I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry.”
On Friday, a video surfaced in which the Republican nominee for president boasted about kissing, groping and having sex with women, saying that “when you’re a star, they let you do anything.”
“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful women — I just start kissing them, it’s like a magnet,” Trump told “Access Hollywood” host Bush in a conversation that was caught on a hot microphone in 2005.
“I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” he said. “Grab ‘em by the p—y.”
The comments were made on the set of “Days of Our Lives,” during taping of an “Access Hollywood” segment about Trump’s upcoming cameo on the soap. The recording was obtained by both the Washington Post and NBC News.
As many on Twitter attacked Bush after the leak of the lewd conversation, the entertainment journalist was initially silent — because he deleted his account in August.
Hillary Clinton quickly denounced Trump’s behavior as “horrific.” She tweeted, “We cannot allow this man to become president.”