Rob Kim/Getty Images
Rob Kim/Getty Images
As expected, Billy Bush wasn't on Today Monday morning.
The Today show briefly mentioned Bush's suspension Monday morning, with co-anchor Savannah Guthrie making a note after she and Lester Holt, who was filling in for Matt Lauer, discussed Sunday night's debate. The two newscasters kept any reference to Bush's tape with Donald Trump, in which they were heard making lewd comments about women.
The first reference to the tapes came from an NBC News reporter on the scene in St. Louis, who referred to the "vulgar audio that's thrown [Trump's] campaign into crisis." During a news recap, the reporter said the audio was "part of a 2005 conversation with Billy Bush during Access Hollywood, which is presented by NBCUniversal."
Trump and Clinton campaign managers Kellyanne Conway and Robby Mook also discussed the tapes, but never mentioned Bush by name. Other newscasters including Chuck Todd and Nicole Wallace were invited on to discuss Sunday night's debate, and it was only once the analysis was wrapped up that Guthrie commented on Bush's suspension.
"We want to note one other thing: Pending further review of the matter, NBC News has suspended Billy Bush, who now hosts Today's third hour, for his role in the conversation with Donald Trump," Guthrie said.
Later in the show Al Roker and Tamron Hall also addressed Bush's absence. "As you can see Billy Bush is not joining us today as you're probably aware. Part of that 2005 Access Hollywood taping with Donald Trump that's been in the news all weekend. NBC, which owns Access Hollywood, has suspended Billy for his role in that conversation pending further review."
NBC announced Sunday in an internal email to the "TODAY family" that Bush wouldn't be on the show Monday. "I know we've been deeply troubled by the revelations of the past 48 hours," the e-mail stated. "Let me be clear—there is simply no excuse for Billy's language and behavior on that tape. NBC has decided to suspend Billy, pending further review of this matter."
A return date hasn't been announced.
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)