Billy Bush returns to 'Extra,' says 'Access Hollywood' tape was 'weaponized'

Billy Bush returns to 'Extra,' says 'Access Hollywood' tape was 'weaponized'
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Billy Bush returned to television Monday night as host of "Extra," almost three years after being fired over a 2005 "Access Hollywood" tape that revealed a lewd conversation between Bush and Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat MORE.
Bush, in an interview with CBS News's Gayle KingGayle KingVirginia Lt. Gov. Fairfax files 0 million defamation suit against CBS CBS News signs 2016 Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook as contributor Billy Bush returns to 'Extra,' says 'Access Hollywood' tape was 'weaponized' MORE that aired Tuesday morning, said he didn't believe the "Access Hollywood" tape would be "weaponized" for political purposes. The tape, which was in possession of "Access Hollywood" producer NBC, was leaked to The Washington Post two days before a presidential debate between Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump's economic approval takes hit in battleground states: poll This is how Democrats will ensure Trump's re-election The Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico MORE.

"I was not prepared for what happened, because it happened, like so often things do these days, like that. Took the car to the airport, got on the plane, and boom," Bush told King in an interview that aired on "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday.

King asked if the contents of the tape, which included Trump saying he could grab women "by the p----" without consequence because of his celebrity status, were known to others at NBC. 

"Everybody did [know about it],” Bush replied. "Well, everybody at the network. I was comfortable that it wasn’t going to be weaponized."
When asked about Trump's comments, Bush, the cousin of former President George W. Bush, said "he was just being him." 

"Are you angry at Donald Trump?" King asked.

"No," Bush replied. 

"Not at all?" King pressed. 

"Not for that," Bush insisted. "No. I mean, he was being him. I think part of that personality and character was why he was successful in a boardroom, making people fight over lemonade stands."

Bush also revealed to King he received a phone call from the 43rd president after the tape was released. 

"I'm so mad, I should fight back," Billy Bush recalls telling George W. Bush. 

"He said, 'Nope. Just, you know, take what they give you and walk away. And work on you,'" Bush recalled the former president saying. 

Bush, 47, was also a co-host of the third hour of NBC's "Today" before being fired in October 2016.