Donald Trump’s infamous 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape continues to be a source of controversy, in which the future president — then the star of “The Apprentice” — was chatting with interviewer Billy Bush, not realizing their microphones were still on, bragging about sexually assaulting women with his notorious “grab ’em by the p***y” comment while Bush laughed and seemed to egg him on.
While the release of the tape didn’t prevent Trump from winning the presidential election, Bush’s guffawing reaction to Trump’s remarks cost him his job on NBC’s “Today” show, and he appeared on Friday’s edition of “Real Time with Bill Maher” to further discuss what happened.
A part of Maher’s attempted “rehabilitation for people who should not have been made to go away” (last week’s guest was Kathy Griffin), Bush spoke out about why he reacted the way he did instead of standing up to Trump.
“I was the entertainment correspondent for NBC, he was the cash cow,” Bush explained. “He was pulling 20 million viewers a week or something. You can interrupt him and then you know how volatile he is, so he’d be like, ‘I hate Billy Bush, he’s done, moving on, “Entertainment Tonight” only, forget Billy Bush,’ and then I have to explain why I lost Trump, the big fish.”
Bush admitted that he “kissed a lot of ass” during his “Access Hollywood” days, but said that he “drew the line” at giving Trump Tic Tacs (in the “Access Hollywood” video, Trump claimed that he “uses” the tiny mints before kissing women without their consent).
In hindsight, would Bush have responded differently? “I probably would have just changed the topic,” he said.
Bush’s firing from NBC after the video was leaked, he said, thrust his life into a period of “chaos,” explaining: “You’ve got order in your life and then all of a sudden you’ve got chaos.”
You can watch Bush’s appearance on “Real Time” above.