Billy Bush Breaks Silence on Infamous Access Hollywood Video

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Back in October, footage of Billy Bush talking to Donald Trump about the latter's proclivity for touching and kissing women he barely knows went viral.

In response, Bush was fired by NBC.

And Trump was hired as President of the United States.

Billy Bush at the Mic

The infamous video was filmed in 2005 while Bush was working for Access Hollywood and Trump was being interviewed about his guest-starring role on Days of Our Lives.

Speaking of actress Arianne Zucker, who was meeting the duo on set, Trump said at the time:

"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. And when you’re a star, they let you do it.

"You can do anything."

In case you somehow forgot about the video, which included Trump saying how he likes to grab women by the pussy, click PLAY below:

Bush egged Trump on during this wildly inappropriate rant, agreeing back then that Zucker was "hot as sh-t" and laughing about how Trump can do "whatever [he] want[s]" to members of the opposite sex.

Within days after this clip hit the Internet, Bush was fired from The Today Show.

And while Trump mostly brushed off the exchange as "locker room banter," Bush did issue an apologetic statement that read as follows:

"Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed. It’s no excuse, but this happened eleven years ago - I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along.

"I’m very sorry."

That was the last we heard from him on the topic. Until now.

Bush, Billy

“I wish I had changed the topic," Bush tells The Hollywood Reporter, adding:

"I wish I had said: ‘Does anyone want water?’ or ‘It looks like it’s gonna rain.’ He liked TV and competition. I could’ve said, ‘Can you believe the ratings on whatever?’

"I didn’t have the strength of character to do it."

In his first extended interview since the scandal that has placed his career on hold, Bush didn't make any excuses.

But he did try to offer an explanation.

"I could not put two thoughts together. Things were happening way too fast.”

What about Trump's description of the back-and-forth? Does Bush agree this is simply how guys talk when by themselves?

Nope.

“I’m in a lot of locker rooms, I am an athlete, and no, that is not the type of conversation that goes on or that I’ve participated in,” he told THR.

Billy Bush and Donald Trump

Bush also says he didn't really take Trump seriously at the time.

Many, many women have since come forward and accused Trump of sexual misconduct.

But Bush dismissed those comments in 2005 as mere words, as something Trump said to get a laugh or to garner approval.

“Almost like Andrew Dice Clay, the stand-up comedian: Does he really do the things that he’s saying or is that his act?” Bush said to THR.

“And in Donald’s case, I equated it that way. When he said what he said, I’d like to think if I had thought for a minute that there was a grown man detailing his sexual assault strategy to me, I’d have called the FBI."

Bush says he has not spoken to Trump since the tape went public.

Billy Bush on The Hollywood Reporter

Describing the last seven months as a “roller coaster,” Bush says he’s committed to be being a “better, fuller man.”

He won’t say much about a new series he has in the works, but he does say that he's doing everything in his power to learn from this incident.

"I am not grateful for the moment," he says. "But I'm grateful for what I've gotten out of it. I'm grateful that it hit me all the way to my core."

As for Trump?

He's the most powerful man on the planet and most American citizens long for the days when his main controversies centered around the mere utterance of a few words.

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