Hours after Billy Bush was suspended for his vile 2005 conversation with Donald Trump, his co-hosts on the "Today" show wasted no time addressing the elephant in Studio 1A.
Early on in the morning show's 9 a.m. hour — which Bush typically hosts — Al Roker and Tamron Hall succinctly explained that Bush would not be joining them as NBC continued to assess the situation.
"As you can see Billy Bush is not joining us today, as you're probably aware, (he was) part of that 2005 'Access Hollywood' taping with Donald Trump that's been in the news all weekend,'' Roker began.
Hall added, "NBC, which owns 'Access Hollywood,' has suspended Billy for his role in that conversation pending further review."
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Their announcement came two hours after Savannah Guthrie told viewers during the show's 7 a.m. hour that Bush would not be appearing during his 9 a.m. timeslot Monday.
Bush found himself at the center of controversy Friday when The Washington Post published 11-year-old unedited footage of him and Trump making vulgar comments about women during a trip to the "Days of Our Lives" set.
During the boorish banter, Bush began to gawk over actress Arianne Zucker.
"Your girl's hot as s--t," he tells Trump in the video, with his comments getting caught on a hot microphone.
Billy Bush suspended from ‘Today’ show after lewd tape
Trump then responds by crassly describing how he behaves himself around beautiful women.
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"I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know I'm automatically attracted to beautiful ... I just start kissing them," he tells Bush. "It's like a magnet. Just kiss. I don't even wait. And when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p---y."
The shocking clip also features the Republican presidential nominee chronicling a failed attempt at wooing a married woman, identified to be TV host Nancy O'Dell.
Bush apologized for his part in the video shortly after it surfaced.
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"Obviously I'm embarrassed and ashamed," he said in a statement. "It's no excuse, but this happened 11 years ago — I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I'm very sorry."
However, sources told PEOPLE that the TV host might not be able to recover.
“It’s so ironic that the place that got him there — his job on Access Hollywood — is now destroying him,” they said.
“They could have released the tape and edited him out,” the source said of the person who leaked the video. “That was the plan — they were trying to approve it and then someone leaked it. That’s what Access Hollywood eventually did and they played it … but it was already out,” the source says and adds, “If they wanted to protect him, they could have edited it out which they did on the final Access piece that aired on Friday, but they left it in when it was leaked.”
NBC responded two days later by suspending the TV personality, who joined "Today" in August.
Noah Oppenheim, a senior vice president for NBC, disclosed in an internal memo that everyone was "deeply troubled" by the video.
"Let me be clear — there is simply no excuse for Billy's language and behavior on that tape," he wrote. "NBC has decided to suspend Billy, pending further review of this matter."
Multiple insiders, including one on-air source, have expressed doubt to CNN that Bush will ever return to the "Today" show.
Carson Daly will fill in for Bush on Tuesday's show, according to Variety.Send a Letter to the Editor