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Television

Who is Billy Bush? A look behind the laughter in the vulgar Donald Trump recording from 2005

Billy Bush
Billy Bush on the “Today” show in New York in September.
(NBC)

Billy Bush, the veteran “Access Hollywood” entertainment anchor who joined the “Today” show last May as a co-anchor, has landed in the second firestorm of his short morning show stint after the revelation that he was laughing alongside Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in a vulgar 2005 recording released on Friday.

Bush had risen in the ranks at NBC from “Access Hollywood,” a show he began co-hosting in 2010, to the “Today” show, which he joined as part of the later segment of the program that begins at 9 a.m.

“Billy has been a part of the ‘Today’ extended family for quite some time -- he brings boundless energy, a great interviewing style and a deep knowledge of pop culture,” wrote Noah Oppenheim, senior vice president and executive in charge of “Today,” when the move was announced.

This marks the second time Bush, who is a nephew of former President George H.W. Bush, has made headlines that reached beyond his regular broadcast duties. During this year’s Summer Olympics, Bush engaged in a heated exchange with the show’s weather anchor Al Roker about the controversy surrounding swimmer Ryan Lochte, who falsified a report that he was robbed in Rio.

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“He lied,” Roker told Bush, who had interviewed Lochte following the incident. “He lied to you, he lied to Matt Lauer, he lied to his mom. He left his teammates hanging while he skedaddled.”

Bush then seemingly defended Lochte, saying he “lied about some details,” but Roker cut him off. “There was no robbery, there was no pull over. There was nothing. Nobody cocked a gun to his head. He lied!” Roker said. Bush told the longtime NBC weatherman to calm down. 

Roker did not, and  the resulting clip went viral.

 

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chris.barton@latimes.com

Follow me over here @chrisbarton.

 


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