Billy Bush’s post-Rio hangover appears to be worse than initially thought. First the NBC personality took heat for his handling of the Ryan Lochte post-“robbery” interview, and now he’s under fire for allegedly bragging about the Donald Trump “Access Hollywood” tape while Bush was in Rio as part of NBC’s Olympics coverage.
Bush, the nephew of former President George H.W. Bush, has been suspended from his regular gig on NBC’s “Today” show while the network contemplates his role in the Trump fiasco, as we reported previously. The tape, on which Trump and Bush talk graphically about women, has become the latest in a series of setbacks for the Trump presidential campaign.
Citing multiple unnamed sources, The New York Post’s Page Six reports that while in Rio, “the shamed ‘Today’ host boasted at a party in August that he had a ‘tape of Trump being a real dog,’ prompting staffers at ‘Access Hollywood’ to track it down.”
The report adds: “Bush never told NBC News brass about the tape when he joined ‘Today,’ and they’re not happy about it.”
The story quotes an insider saying: “Billy was bragging about the tape to other NBC staff while in Rio. If he knew about the tape, and remembered the full extent of such an explosive conversation with a presidential candidate and didn’t disclose that to NBC News, that is a very, very serious problem.”
The report quotes another insider saying: “It is not clear if Billy remembered the exact level of vulgarity in the conversation with Trump, or if he instead realized its news value and didn’t declare it to protect himself.”
The story adds: “Bush could also be investigated by NBC for any signs of possible workplace sexual harassment because of the comments he made during his vile video chat with Trump about his ex-‘Access’ co-host Nancy O’Dell.”
O’Dell, who is identified on the tape only as “Nancy,” has also spoken out about the incident, as we reported separately.