The infamous “Access Hollywood” tape meant to take down Donald Trump instead destroyed the cousin of his nemesis Jeb Bush.
Billy Bush was fired by NBC’s “Today Show” shortly after a hot-mic tape surfaced in October 2016 where he was heard goading then-presidential candidate Donald Trump to make lewd comments about women.
In the tape, Trump embarrassed himself by jokingly bragging about his past sexual exploits and success with women.
Billy’s cousin Jeb Bush—who had sparred with Trump during the Republican primaries—trashed Trump for his comments but said nothing about his cousin’s frat-boy goading.
As the grandfather of two precious girls, I find that no apology can excuse away Donald Trump's reprehensible comments degrading women.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) October 7, 2016
In a rare move, Trump later apologized for his offensive remarks. The Access Hollywood tape — which had been around since 2005 — was leaked by a “Today Show” staffer to target Trump as well as Bush, who was not well-liked by the show’s staff, the New York Post’s Page Six reported.
“The tape was leaked by the NBC News division, by somebody at the ‘Today’ show,” a source said. “NBC News knew for a while about the existence of the tape. Billy himself had told them about it. People in the news division became frustrated that ‘Access Hollywood’ was taking too long to air it and decided it had to come out.”
NBC top brass were apparently upset that “Access Hollywood” (where Bush had worked when he interviewed Trump during the hot-mic moment) was taking too long to release the footage. Pro-Hillary operatives at NBC wanted Access Hollywood to speed up the reveal to damage Trump’s presidential bid, so they leaked the videotape themselves.
“The leaked tape served a dual purpose: It helped get Bush out of the way,” an insider told the NY Post. “Matt Lauer didn’t like him and felt he was a liability. And NBC thought [the tape] would derail Trump. But all it did was crush Billy. And, ironically, his own network was behind it.”
Shortly after the tape went viral, Bush was fired. Sources said the person who leaked the tape still works at NBC and was never disciplined. “There was no investigation, no internal witch hunt by NBC into who leaked the tape,” said a source. “It served their purposes.”
Actually, the tape failed in its two-pronged mission: While it ended Billy Bush’s career at NBC, Donald Trump sailed on to the presidency a month after the video was released.
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