NBC News is suspending “Today” show host Billy Bush in the wake of a leaked video of Bush and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump making vulgar comments about women.
“Let me be clear — there is simply no excuse for Billy’s language and behaviour on that tape,” NBC executive Noah Oppenheim said in a memo to staff members, according to multiple news outlets. “NBC has decided to suspend Billy, pending further review of this matter.”
“We’ve all been deeply troubled by the revelations of the past 48 hours,” Oppenheim added.
In the video from 2005, Bush, then a host of “Access Hollywood,” was heard laughing as Trump described his attempts to seduce women. Their attention turned to “Days of Our Lives” actress Arianne Zucker, standing outside their bus.
“Sheesh, your girl’s hot as s—, in the purple,” Bush is heard saying. “Those legs, all I can see is the legs.”
Trump then boasted in crude language about his ability to attract women.
“When you’re a star they let you do it,” Trump said. “You can do anything. … Grab them by the p—y. You can do anything.”
Bush apologised on Friday for his role in the video. He was expected to address the incident on Monday’s show.
“Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed,” Bush said in a statement issued by NBC News. “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.”
The damage appears to have done considerable damage to Trump’s campaign. Several high-profile Republicans, including Sens. John McCain and Kelly Ayotte, have withdrawn their support for the businessman. Trump has vowed to stay in the race despite growing calls to drop out.
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