Billy Bush, the former host of Access Hollywood, has been out of a job since that infamous tape emerged in the fall of 2016 of Donald Trump bragging to him about groping women.
But now, three years later, Bush is returning to TV Monday as the host of Extra. And he’s still grappling with that explosive 2005 tape.
He spoke to CBS This Morning's Gayle King about the controversy, and his return to TV.
(BILLY BUSH) 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.
(GAYLE KING) The "boom" was you - you - you got the news that this tape had been released?
(BILLY BUSH) Yeah.
(GAYLE KING) and you knew there was a tape?
(BILLY BUSH) Everybody did.
(GAYLE KING) Uh-huh. I didn't.
(BILLY BUSH) Oh. Well, (LAUGH) everybody - everybody at - at the network.
(GAYLE KING) At, okay. Yeah, okay. But the public didn't know. Everybody knew about the tape, you're saying?
(BILLY BUSH) Yeah. And I was comfortable that the, you know, that it wasn't going to be weaponized.
(GAYLE KING) Is that how you feel it was? Weaponized?
(BILLY BUSH) Oh, sure. Yeah. I got taken out, but I wasn't the target.
(GAYLE KING) So when it comes out how did you think it was going to end, after the tape is released? Did you think, "I'll get through this"?
(BILLY BUSH) Well, I was told-- that, "You're- you're good. You're d-, you know, it- we'll- don't worry about it. It's not you. You didn't say anything." Remember, it was-- it was leaked on a Friday.And then Sunday morning, I walked out that door, right over there, with my bags to go back to work. And-the driver said, "I'm sorry- they've canceled the car." I said, "Oh, that must be a mistake. Called my lawyer and I said "uh are we okay?" "nope"
(GAYLE KING) In 2005, did you feel you had to "go along to get along"?/ Why didn't you feel you could challenge him, and say, "You know"-
(BILLY BUSH) Ooph.
(GAYLE KING) "-that's not cool."
(BILLY BUSH) Well, Trump's the kinda guy who would say, you know, "Forget Billy Bush.
(BILLY BUSH) And- and then, I might have gotten, "Hey, why did you lose Trump? He's the biggest guest we ha--?" I mean, it was- there was always a little bit of, you know, you're a little anxious around him because you just want it to end well and get out.
(GAYLE KING) Do you feel you're starting over?
(BILLY BUSH) Not "starting over" in the sense - I think I picked up some missing elements in the last few years. Like a deeper empathy - patience.
Bush has apologized for the video, and noted the irony that while his career was derailed, Donald Trump became president.