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 TrumpJan. 6 panel faces double-edged sword with Alex Jones, Roger Stone Trump goes after Woodward, Costa over China Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE.
Bush, in an interview with CBS News's Gayle KingGayle KingR. Kelly accuser tells Gayle King their interview was a wake-up call Nate Burleson makes leap from football to news with 'CBS Mornings' Witness says R. Kelly kept watch over girlfriends during Gayle King interview 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 ClintonRepublicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Poll: Democracy is under attack, and more violence may be the future Popping the progressive bubble 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.