Politics

Billy Bush Returns To TV, Says The Trump Access Hollywood Tape Was ‘Weaponized’

Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images

Amber Athey White House Correspondent

Former “Access Hollywood” co-host Billy Bush returned to television this week and lamented the fact that the infamous tape of Donald Trump speaking crudely about women was “weaponized” for political purposes.

Bush, who is hosting the entertainment show “Extra” three years after being fired as a co-host of NBC’s “Today,” spoke candidly about the aftermath of the “Access Hollywood” tape’s release during a Monday interview with CBS’ Gayle King.

“I was not prepared for what happened, because it happened, like so often things do these days, like that,” Bush said. “Took the car to the airport, got on the plane, and boom.”

Bush explained that “everybody at the network” knew that a tape existed of Trump’s comments, but added that he never expected it to be “weaponized.” While he was not the “target” of the hit, Bush was still fired two days after the tape was released for allegedly encouraging Trump. (RELATED: Trump Apologizes After Hidden Cam Video Surfaces Of Him Talking Lewd About Women)

However, the television host said he is not angry with Trump for the tape.

“No. I mean he — he was being him,” Bush claimed. “I think part of that personality and character is why he was successful in a boardroom making people fight over lemonade stands.”

The 2005 tape, which was released during the 2016 presidential campaign, shows Trump on a hot mic bragging about being sexually aggressive with beautiful women, asserting, “You can grab ’em by the p***y … when you’re a star they let you do it.”

Bush previously said that he understood Trump’s comments to be a mere boast and did not think at the time that he was describing sexual assault.