Billy Bush leaves NBC Today show following leaked Trump tape

The broadcaster was a host of ‘Access Hollywood’ at the time of the 2005 tape recording

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The Independent Online

Billy Bush, the TV host caught on tape with Donald Trump as the businessman made obscene sexual comments about women, has left NBC’s ‘Today’ programme after just two months on the show.

An internal memo sent to staff by NBC’s Senior Vice President Noah Oppenheim on Monday stated that Mr Bush was leaving the show with immediate effect, NBC News reported.

Mr Oppenheim added in the memo: “While he was a new member of the Today team, he was a valued colleague and longtime member of the broader NBC family. We wish him success as he goes forward.”

Mr Bush was suspended indefinitely by the broadcaster for his part in the leaked 2005 conversation involving himself and Donald Trump.

The recording dates back to when Mr Bush was the host of TV show ‘Access Hollywood’, and he is heard laughing as Mr Trump boasts about being able to grope and kiss women without consent due to his fame.

“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. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait,” Mr Trump is heard saying.

“And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything,” he adds, before saying: “Grab them by the p****. You can do anything.”

The Republican nominee denied groping women and apologised for his comments, calling them “locker room talk”. Mr Bush said he was “embarrassed and ashamed” by the exchange on the tape at the time of the leak.

On Monday Mr Bush issued a statement on Monday night following the news of his removal from the show, stating: “I am deeply grateful for the conversations I’ve had with my daughters, and for all the support from my family, friends and colleagues. I look forward to what lies ahead.”

Mr Trump’s wife Melania, who has defended her husband against recent allegations of sexual assault brought by a number of women, has claimed Mr Bush “egged on” her husband in the tape.

In an interview with CNN, Mrs Trump called the conversation with the pair “boy talk” and said her husband was “led on – like, egged on – from the host to say dirty and bad stuff”.

Mr Bush had been a host on the ‘Today’ programme for two months. Broadcaster Al Roker stood in for Mr Bush when he was first suspended from the show and Harry Connick Jr played host on the show on Monday and Tuesday this week.