Billy Bush: TODAY show job safe says source
Billy Bush isn’t going anywhere.
Despite petitions and public outcry asking for his removal from Today, a source close to the hit NBC morning show says the 44-year-old anchor will not be fired for sexist comments he made in 2005 while in conversation with Donald Trump.
“There have been no discussions of any type of disciplinary action,” the insider says.
Bush is expected to be on air on Monday.
On Friday afternoon, he issued an apology for the comments he made in the tape, 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.”
The tape, released by The Washington Post on Friday, comes from footage of an interview Bush did with Trump for Access Hollywood. A host of the program at the time, Bush and the 70-year-old businessman can be heard on their microphones making comments about the Days of Our Lives actress Arianne Zucker, who was arriving to show them around set.
“Your girl’s hot as s—, in the purple,” Bush told Trump, while arriving on set of the NBC soap, where Trump was filming a cameo. “Whoa! Whoa!” Bush also asked Zucker to hug Trump when they met.
Trump is also heard on the tape speaking about an unnamed female now identified as Bush’s then-Access Hollywood cohost Nancy O’Dell.
“I moved on her and I failed. I’ll admit it,” said Trump, who is now the Republican nominee for president. “I did try and f— her. She was married.”
“Whoa,” Bush can be heard saying in response.
“And I moved on her very heavily,” Trump continued. “In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.’ I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phony t— and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”
On Saturday, Trump released a statement saying: “This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.” Trump later released a longer apology a few hours later:
“Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am,” he said. “I said it, I was wrong and I apologize.”
Commenters on Twitter, meanwhile, continue to call for Bush’s removal from the morning show.
On Saturday, after news of the audio had leaked, Bush was spotted at Los Angeles International Airport.
A source at Today previously told PEOPLE that Bush was a hot topic of conversation in the wake of the tape’s release.
“Lots of texts and emails floating around,” the source said. “Everybody has an opinion about this, and there’s a lot of talk about what to do with Billy.”
“This was personal,” the source continued. “He was turning on his co-workers and friends to suck up to Donald Trump. So it’s like, ‘what does he say about me when I’m not in the room?’”