Billy Bush says Matt Lauer defended him during P***ygate scandal and reveals how he checked into 'soul-searching retreat' after being fired as he and Colbert lay into Trump on The Late Show

  • Billy Bush sat down for his first late-night talk show appearance since last year?
  • He was fired in October 2016 after he was heard laughing as Donald Trump bragged about grabbing women by the p**** in a leaked tape from 2005?
  • Bush said Matt Lauer went to bat for him to their bosses at the Today Show after he was ousted
  • He also said that about a month after being fired, his boss admitted to being too hasty in the network's decision to fire him
  • The 46-year-old spoke about the tape, and said he was offended when he heard that Trump told a senator the voice on the tape wasn't his
  • 'He said it. "Grab 'em by the p****." Of course he said it,' Bush told Colbert?
  • Bush hinted that everyone at NBC had to 'kiss Trump's ring' because he was making so much money for the network at the time with The Apprentice ?

Billy Bush says his disgraced former NBC colleague Matt Lauer tried to save his job when the infamous Access Hollywood p***ygate tape was leaked during last year's presidential campaign.

The ousted anchor also claims bosses at the network told him they were too quick to let him go in the months after his lewd conversation with Donald Trump from 2005 surfaced.

Bush, 46, opened up about his firing to Stephen Colbert on Monday in his first late-night talk show appearance since he was shown the door at 30 Rock in October, 2016.

He told The Late Show host that he checked into a 'soul-searching retreat' after the tape was made public by the Washington Post during the race for the White House, and spent nine days without any electronic contact with the outside world.

The former Today Show host also explained that he needed to defend himself by writing an op-ed in the New York Times on Sunday, after the president said it 'wasn't his voice' on the tape.

He reiterated that sentiment during the interview with Colbert, saying: 'He said it. "Grab 'em by the p****." Of course he said it.'?

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Billy Bush talked to Stephen Colbert about the infamous Access Hollywood tape in which he laughed along as Donald Trump bragged he could grab women by the p****. It was his first late-night talk show appearance since he was fired from NBC in October 2016

Billy Bush talked to Stephen Colbert about the infamous Access Hollywood tape in which he laughed along as Donald Trump bragged he could grab women by the p****. It was his first late-night talk show appearance since he was fired from NBC in October 2016

The 46-year-old said that Matt Lauer spoke to bosses at NBC about saving his job at The Today Show, and that his bosses admitted to being hasty in their decision to fire him after the tapes were leaked by the Washington Post during the 2016 election
Lauer has since been fired from NBC for alleged sexual misconduct. He is pictured in a 2013 file photo

The 46-year-old said Matt Lauer (pictured right) spoke to bosses at NBC about saving his job at The Today Show, and that his boss admitted to being hasty in the decision to fire him after the tapes were leaked by the Washington Post during the 2016 election

He was let go almost immediately after the 2005 Access Hollywood audio was published by the Washington Post, and said it was an 'emotional time'. Pictured is a frame from the 2005 video

He was let go almost immediately after the 2005 Access Hollywood audio was published by the Washington Post, and said it was an 'emotional time'. Pictured is a frame from the 2005 video

Bush says Lauer, who was spectacularly fired from his $25-million-a-year job last week following sexual harassment claims, was ready to go to senior executives at NBC to get his job back.

'We had a conversation about that and he told me that he went privately to the bosses and took that line,' Bush told Colbert after being asked if Lauer - who at the time was still on Today and had a lot of influence - had gone to bat for his coworker.?

'I said I appreciated it and thanked him. I will say I would have liked to address the audience,' Bush said.?

Bush also said that a month after being fired his boss told him 'we may have moved a little quickly.' ?He wouldn't name the executive he spoke to.

He was let go almost immediately after the 2005 Access Hollywood audio was published by the Washington Post, and said it was an 'emotional time'.

But more than anything, he said he wish he'd changed the subject while he was on the bus. ??

'Trump liked TV and competition. I could've said "Can you believe the ratings" on whatever? But I didn't have the strength to do it,' he explained.?

'If I had thought there was a man detailing a sexual assault strategy to me I would have contacted the FBI and not just brought it to the attention of my producers.?

'Everybody had to kiss the ring of Donald because he was making the big money for NBC at the time.' He was the host of The Apprentice at the time.?

Speaking about the interview, Bush also said he wish he'd changed the subject while he was on the bus (pictured). Bush said that Trump was such a big name at NBC that people had to 'kiss the ring'?

Speaking about the interview, Bush also said he wish he'd changed the subject while he was on the bus (pictured). Bush said that Trump was such a big name at NBC that people had to 'kiss the ring'?

The Access Hollywood tape resurfaced last week when it was reported that President Trump told a senator the voice in the 2005 recording wasn't his.

In response Bush wrote an op-ed in the New York Times to insist the voice was Trump's.??

He said he was frustrated and offended 'on the personal front' when he heard Trump had claimed he didn't say it.?

'Last week, for some reason, he came out with "that's not my voice on the tape,"' Bush said.?

'Like I said, you can't say that. That is your voice. I was there, you were there, that is your voice on the tape.'??

The Access Hollywood tape resurfaced last week when it was reported that President Trump told people a senator the voice in the recording wasn't his

In response, Bush wrote an op-ed in the New York Times to insist the voice was Trump's. He reiterated that sentiment on Monday's interview with Colbert, saying: 'He said it. "Grab 'em by the p****." Of course he said it'

In response, Bush wrote an op-ed in the New York Times to insist the voice was Trump's. He reiterated that sentiment on Monday's interview with Colbert, saying: 'He said it. "Grab 'em by the p****." Of course he said it'

He then hit out further at the president, bringing up the laundry list of women who have come forward to accuse Trump of sexually harassing or assaulting them at some point in his career.

'You've got 20 women, who used their names,' Bush said. 'We've got powerful people being held accountable and sometimes there's anonymous sources. All of these women came out with their names and told their detailed accounts.'?

He continued: 'As I read these I said, 20 women don't get together and say, "You know what would be fun? Let's take down a powerful guy together." No they don't. You're opening wounds on them, too. Enough's enough. Stop playing around with people's lives.' ?

The New York Times reported that Trump compared the outrage after the Access Hollywood tape was leaked to the public's response to the sexual assault allegations against Alabama Republican Senate hopeful Roy Moore. ?

During Monday's interview Colbert replayed the tape and asked how it made Bush feel.?

'The first time I ever heard it was three days before it leaked and it was like a gut punch. It's like a gut punch now,' he explained.??

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