POLITICS
05/24/2017 10:11 am ET Updated May 24, 2017

Billy Bush Says He Let Donald Trump's Lewd Comments Slide Because He Was Insecure

“I was a pleaser. I kind of remember wanting these celebrities to like me, so that I could keep going in this job."

Former “Today” co-host Billy Bush blamed his own insecurities for that conversation with President Donald Trump in which he bragged about groping women.

“People also say, ‘You should have stopped it,’” Bush told ABC’s “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts in an interview that aired Wednesday. “I didn’t have the strength of character at the time to do that. I wish I did.”

Bush was interviewing Trump and Arianne Zucker for an “Access Hollywood” segment in 2005. But their lewd exchange that was recorded only emerged when the video leaked in October, weeks before the 2016 presidential election. 

“Sheesh your girl’s hot as shit,” Bush said to Trump.

And he laughed at Trump’s offensive comments about women. Trump declared “you can do anything” when you’re a star. “Grab them by the pussy,” Trump added in the infamous tape. 

Bush chalks it up to being insecure at the time, he said. “I was a pleaser,” he told “GMA.” “I kind of remember wanting these celebrities to like me, so that I could keep going in this job.”

He “recoiled” when he first heard the recording, Bush said. “Nobody reacted harsher and more gutturally than I did,” he added. “It really, really, just killed me. I sacrificed, you know, my own dignity in that moment.”

Bush has only just broken his silence on the leaked tape. One of the hardest parts was having to explain his behavior to his three daughters, he told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview published on Sunday.

He also claimed in the ABC interview that he reported the incident as soon as it happened. Had he taken the comments seriously at the time, he would have called the FBI, Bush added.

It’s impossible to ignore the irony in the fact that Bush has been unemployed since the tape leaked, he said, while Trump went on to win the presidency.

But Bush is now a “changed person,” he insisted. “I do feel like a better man.”

HuffPost

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