Billy Bush isn’t going without a fight.
While NBC bids to ax him over a “morality clause” in his contract, he is blaming NBC for the leak of the tape to the Washington Post, and may even sue. It is believed someone at NBC News leaked the tape to make it public ahead of the debate, because of frustrations that “Access Hollywood” had planned to air it the following Monday.
Page Six reported that Bush bragged to his NBC colleagues about the crude tape with Trump while covering the Olympics in Rio. Now there is an internal investigation at NBC to find out exactly who knew about the tape after Rio.
A source close to Billy told us, “He told people at NBC about this tape. What if there was a transcript of the tape, and high-level discussions about when to release it? Which executives were involved, and why did they decide to suppress the tape until October, when they could have aired it in August? Was it an oversight or a strategic decision by NBC to affect the race? Billy was far from the only person at NBC who was talking about the contents of this tape. On-air talent does not make the decision when to air stories like this.”
Multiple sources told Page Six Bush is out at “Today”because of his Donald “grab ’em by the p - - - y” Trump tape, though NBC News is weighing when to make the announcement.
An NBC insider told us: “Billy is technically fired. It’s just a matter of time. NBC isn’t ready to announce it yet. They are negotiating his exit.” Bush was suspended from “Today” on Sunday.
In crisis mode, Bush, 44, has been looking to hire a “high-power fixer.” But at least he was smart enough to refuse Trump’s offer to “help” with some positive p.r.
A tipster added: “Trump offered to handle some of the press, but Billy thinks his best course of action is to keep his distance.”
Reps for NBC and Bush had no comment.