Former “Today” host Billy Bush said in an interview published Sunday that he wished he would have changed the subject when he was engaging in lewd talk with Donald Trump seen in a video from 2005.
“Looking back on what was said on that bus, I wish I had changed the topic. I wish I had said: ‘Does anyone want water?’ or ‘It looks like it’s gonna rain,’” Bush told The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
Bush added that he did not agree with Trump that the conversation recorded by “Access Hollywood” and released during the 2016 election amounted to “locker room talk.”
“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,” Bush said.
The video shows Trump describing trying to have sex with a married woman. He also brags about women letting him kiss and grab them because he is famous.
"When you're a star they let you do it," Trump said. "You can do anything."
Bush said his then-15-year-old daughter, Mary, called him in tears from her boarding school when the news broke, and asked him why he could be heard laughing at the things Trump was saying on the old tape.
"It hit really hard, and I stopped for a second, and I said, 'I have no answer for that that's any good. I am really sorry. That was Dad in a bad moment a long time ago," he said.
In a videotaped apology, Trump declared he was wrong but also dismissed the revelations as "nothing more than a distraction" from a decade ago. He later said that he never did any of the actions described on the tape.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.