Al Roker takes over for Billy Bush at the Today show

Bush has been suspended due to an ongoing investigation

Justin Carissimo
New York
Monday 10 October 2016 16:54 BST
(Alberto E Rodriguez/Getty)

Al Roker is filling in for Billy Bush on the Today show amid the controversy over the newly leaked video of his conversation with Donald Trump in 2005.

Bush, who joined the show in this May, was suspended from the program on Sunday evening shortly before the second presidential debate kicked off. Standing in, Roker immediately addressed the ongoing fiasco involving Bush, Trump, and the comments on sexual assault.

“As you can see, Billy Bush is not joining us today,” Roker said on Monday. “As you probably are aware, part of the 2005 Access Hollywood taping with Donald Trump that’s been in the news all weekend.”

In the footage, Bush can be heard egging on Trump’s sexually advancing on a married woman and refusing to acknowledge their denials.

“NBC, which owns Access Hollywood, has suspended Billy for his role in that conversation, pending further review,” co-host Tamron Hall explained. “That said, let’s turn to last night’s debate where that 2005 tape played a big role.”

Over the summer, Roker had an on-air spat with Bush over his handling of Olympian Ryan Lochte's robbery scandal. Roker said that Bush was too defensive of Lochte, who lied about being robbed by gunmen in Brazil.

“[Lochte] lied,” Roker then told Bush. “He lied to you, he lied to Matt Lauer, he lied to his mom. He left his teammates hanging while he skedaddled. There was no robbery, there was no pullover. He lied.”

Shortly after the tape leaked, Bush deleted his Twitter account and released a statement apologizing for his role in the controversy.

“Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed. It’s no excuse, but this happened 11 years ago," he said in a statement. "I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry.”

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