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Billy Bush Claims Trump Access Hollywood Tape Was ‘Weaponized’ Amid His Return to Television

Billy Bush reflected on the last three years ostensibly out of work in an interview with CBS that focused on his return to television since his Access Hollywood tape with Donald Trump emerged.

It was nearly three years ago when the bombshell tape was released, revealing how Bush laughed along while Trump was caught on a hot mic as he bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy.” The tape was a massive source of controversy at the time, but while Trump was able to survive the scandal and win the presidency, Bush was forced off NBC and spent years as a public pariah.

Before Bush made his debut on Monday night as the host of Extra, he told Gayle King about how he was not prepared for what happened when the PussyGate story exploded. He also claimed “everyone” at NBC knew of the tape’s existence before it was released, but “I was comfortable that it wasn’t going to be weaponized.”

“I got taken out, but I wasn’t the target,” Bush continued. He also said he expected to keep his job at the time, saying “I was told that, ‘You’re good. Don’t worry about it. It’s not you. You didn’t say anything.'”

King also asked Bush why he declined to challenge Trump in 2005 and if he had to “go along to get along.”

“Well, Trump’s the kinda guy who would say, you know, ‘Forget Billy Bush,'” Bush answered as he spoke of how he was a different person back then. “I might have gotten, ‘Hey, why did you lose Trump? He’s the biggest guest we have?’ I mean, there was always a little bit of, you’re a little anxious around him because you just want it to end well and get out.”

Watch above, via CBS.

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