(LOS ANGELES) — Former Access Hollywood and Today anchor Billy Bush was a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Monday night. Bush was on hand to discuss a New York Times op-ed piece he wrote this week about the infamous 2005 tape of him chuckling while on a bus with Donald Trump while the then Apprentice star riffed about groping and kissing women.
Bush said he first heard the tape three days before it leaked in The Washington Post during the waning days of the 2016 campaign. “It was like a gut-punch,” he said of hearing the tape. “It’s a gut-punch now, it will always be.”
Bush said at the time, he treated the comments like they were fiction. “I sort of equated what he was saying to some kind of, you know, crass standup act, like, you know, an Andrew Dice Clay — you figure that’s not Dice when he’s home. He doesn’t actually do those things,” Bush told Colbert.
Bush added, “If I had thought there was a man detailing a sexual assault strategy to me, I would have called the FBI, not just reported it to my executive producer.”
Bush, who was fired from NBC after the tape leaked, said he wrote the op-ed now after hearing reports that Trump privately has been questioning the authenticity of the tape, and thinking about the effect that must have on the dozens of women who have accused Donald Trump of sexual harassment.
“Twenty women don’t get together and say, ‘Hey, you know what would be really fun? Let’s take down a powerful guy together. Ha ha.’ No, they don’t,” said Bush. “And I said, ‘OK, you’re re-opening wounds on them too.’ Enough’s enough. Stop playing around with people’s lives. That upset me. So I wrote.”
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