At George H.W. Bush’s Dec. 2018 funeral, Billy Bush saw Donald Trump for the first time since the leak of their infamous ‘Access Hollywood’ tape, and he reveals whether or not they spoke at the service.
When Billy Bush attended his Uncle, George H.W. Bush’s, funeral in December 2018, he knew he would have to come face-to-face with Donald Trump for the first time since audio of their lewd 2005 Access Hollywood conversation leaked two years prior. However, he revealed to Ellen DeGeneres during a Sept. 27 interview that he did not interact with Trump. “I didn’t,” Billy confirmed. “I was sitting in the middle of the church, and of course he’s the last one to enter for security reasons. But [I did see] him.”
During the interview, Billy also praised his father’s brother’s decision to invite Trump to the funeral before he passed away, despite their differences regarding politics and policy. “I thought it was a beautiful thing that he stipulated — before he died — he said that, you know what, I don’t want the headline to be…I black-balled him. Then, that’s all people talk about, instead of the things that happened under his watch,” Billy explained. “He specifically said, yes, include him. But it’s normal protocol of the sitting president to do the eulogy, so he had a lucky circumstance there, because 43 [George W. Bush] was his son, so he did the eulogy [instead].”
Billy was working at the Today Show when the tape of his conversation with Trump leaked in Oct. 2016, amidst Trump’s presidential campaign. He was suspended from his position on the NBC morning show, and eventually fired just days later. The tape was recorded in Sept. 2005 when Trump was a guest on Access Hollywood, which Billy was hosting at the time. The men were on a bus before filming the episode when they had the inappropriate conversation.
On the tape, Trump could be heard bragging about hitting on Nancy O’Dell, who was Billy’s co-host on Access Hollywood at the time. The conversation then shifted to Arianne Zucker, who they would be connecting with in just moments. “I better use some Tic Tacs just in case I start kissing her,” Trump said. “You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the p***y. You can do anything.”
While Billy mostly just listened on the tape, he could be heard saying that Arianne is “hot as s***.” He also urged her to give Trump a hug when they met up before the interview, despite hearing the lewd comments that Trump had made about her just moments earlier. “At this point, for me, it’s about going forward,” Billy told Ellen. “It [took] longer than I thought — it happened three years ago — but you learn from these things. It would be a real shame to just check back into the game, having not [learned] anything.”