Billy Bush suspended from 'Today' show after tape of Trump's lewd comments: memo

Sun Oct 9, 2016 9:42pm EDT
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(Reuters) - NBC has suspended television personality Billy Bush from the "Today" show after fallout over the host's 2005 taped lewd conversation with U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, according to a show memo seen by Reuters on Sunday.

The suspension comes as a flood of Republicans have withdrawn their support for Trump over the video that emerged on Friday showing the businessman, then a reality TV star, talking with Bush on an open microphone about groping women and trying to seduce a married woman.

In the recorded conversation, Trump was chatting on a bus with Bush, then host of NBC's "Access Hollywood," ahead of a segment they were about to tape.

Bush said in a statement to Variety on Friday he was "embarrassed and ashamed" of his comments.

NBC said Bush had been suspended indefinitely from the "Today" show, where he hosts the third hour of programming.

Noah Oppenheim, the executive in charge of the morning show, wrote in a memo to staff that "there is simply no excuse for Billy's language and behavior on that tape."

Oppenheim said: "NBC has decided to suspend Billy, pending further review of this matter."

The controversy has pitched Trump, 70, into the biggest crisis of his campaign and deepened fissures between him and establishment Republicans just a month ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle and Steve Holland; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Television personality Billy Bush hosts the CinemaCon Big Screen Achievement Awards show at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, April 26, 2012. REUTERS/Steve Marcus