Tag Archives: Billy Bush

NBC News fires Billy Bush after Trump tape

NBC News has fired Today show host Billy Bush, who was caught on tape in a vulgar conversation about women with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump before an Access Hollywood appearance.

Bush was suspended at the morning show two days after contents of the 2005 tape were reported on Oct. 7.

NBC and Bush’s representatives had been negotiating terms of his exit before the announcement.

On the tape, Bush is heard laughing as Trump talks about fame enabling him to grope and try to have sex with women not his wife.

Bush later said he was “embarrassed and ashamed.” Trump has since denied groping women.

Bush, who had been at Today for two months, is the nephew of Republican former President George H.W. Bush.

NBC made the announcement of his firing in a note from Today show top executive Noah Oppenheim to his staff. Oppenheim called Bush, who spent 15 years at Access Hollywood, “a valued colleague and longtime member of the broader NBC family. We wish him success as he goes forward.”

Bush, a 44-year-old father of three, said that he was “deeply grateful for the conversations I’ve had with my daughters, and for all of the support from family, friends and colleagues. I look forward to what lies ahead.”

The settlement with NBC did not include a non-compete clause, meaning Bush “is a free agent,” said his lawyer, Marshall Grossman. Financial terms of the deal were kept confidential.

In the 2005 tape, which was first revealed by The Washington Post, Trump discusses unsuccessfully seeking an affair with another Access Hollywood employee, Nancy O’Dell. Trump said that when he was attracted to beautiful women “I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet.” He said that when you’re a star, women let you.

“Grab them by the p—-. You can do anything,” Trump added.

The two men discussed an actress who was waiting from at the end of the bus ride. When they got off, Bush urged the woman to hug Trump and added, “how about a little hug for the Bushy?”

Trump said in the second presidential debate that he never did any of the actions heard on the tape, which he described as locker room talk. But a number of women have since come forward and said that Trump had surprised them in the past by groping or unexpectedly kissing them on the lips.

In an interview with CNN, Trump’s wife, Melania, said that her husband was “egged on” by Bush in the conversation.

“I wonder if they even knew the mic was on,” Melania Trump said, referring to her husband and Bush. She said they were involved in “boy talk, and he was led on — like egged on — from the host to say dirty and bad stuff.”

Asked to comment, Grossman said, “I thought that Donald Trump would claim that he was not on the bus.”

 

GOP strategists: Only ‘epic collapse’ could prevent Clinton victory

With roughly three weeks to Election Day, Republican strategists concede a Hillary Clinton victory is all but inevitable. She has a firm grip on the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House — and may be on her way to an even more decisive victory over Donald Trump.

“He is on track to totally and completely melting down,” said Republican pollster Whit Ayres, who is advising Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s re-election campaign. Like many Republican strategists, he was willing to speak publicly about the GOP nominee’s rough road ahead at the end of an unprecedented campaign.

Things can change before Election Day. There is one more presidential debate, and Trump has rallied before. His core supporters remain strongly committed.

But along with indicators such as polling, campaign travel, staffing and advertising, the interviews with Republican political professionals unaffiliated with the Trump campaign suggest only an epic collapse by Clinton would keep her from winning enough states to become president.

In the past week, Trump’s campaign has been hit by allegations the New York billionaire sexually accosted several women over the past three decades. Early voting in pivotal North Carolina and Florida shows positive signs for Clinton, and donations to the Republican National Committee are down about a quarter over the past three months from the same period in 2012, when Mitt Romney was the nominee.

Preference polling in the past week, meanwhile, has generally moved in the direction of a Clinton victory, with the Democrat improving in national surveys and in a number of contested states.

If the election were held today, Clinton would likely carry the entire West Coast and Northeast, as well as most of the Great Lakes region — a place Trump once identified as ripe territory for his populist message against free trade.

Only Ohio is a toss-up in that part of the country, but the perennial battleground may not prevent a Clinton victory this year due to her strength — and Trump’s weaknesses — elsewhere.

Trump and running mate Mike Pence have made a hard play for Pennsylvania, a state carried by the Democratic nominee in the past six elections. But their strategy to hold down a Clinton victory in Philadelphia and its suburbs while running up Trump’s vote total in more conservative parts of the state has failed to materialize.

“He’s getting his brains beat in by women in the Philly suburbs,” said Ed Goeas, a Republican pollster who is surveying presidential battlegrounds and several states with races for U.S. Senate.

Trump was already struggling to attract support from women before his first debate with Clinton in late September. It was at that event in New York where Clinton stung Trump by reviving his past shaming of a former Miss Universe for gaining weight.

Trump’s response, calling the contestant’s weight gain “a real problem” in a TV interview the next day, was quickly eclipsed by the publication of a video from 2005 in which the Republican bragged about using his fame to prey on women.

An apology followed, but Trump also insisted his comments were nothing more than “locker room talk.” He denied at the candidates’ second debate that he ever acted in the ways he discussed in the 2005 video.

Within days, several women had come forward to accuse Trump of unwanted sexual advances and sexual assault. He responded by calling his accusers liars and suggesting  they were in some instances not physically attractive enough to merit his attention.

His entire tack could not be better designed to drive away college-educated women, paving the way for a Clinton victory,” said Ayres, the GOP pollster.

Educated women living in suburbs have long been a key part of the GOP coalition, but polls indicate the revelations about Trump’s behavior have pushed them toward Clinton — and a Clinton victory — in the battleground states of Colorado and Virginia.

The events have also foiled Trump’s late-in-the-campaign plan to thwart a Clinton victory in Wisconsin. Trump and Pence were to campaign with House Speaker Paul Ryan in his home state a day after the 2005 video was made public. Ryan withdrew his invitation to Trump, and Pence later canceled.

Trump can still count on carrying states across the West, the Great Plains and in the South, but Ayers and other Republicans predict he may ultimately end up with fewer than 200 Electoral College votes.

Should the Republican fall short in Pennsylvania, he would need to post victories in both Florida and Ohio, as well as several other battlegrounds — North Carolina, Virginia, Nevada and New Hampshire among them — to reach 270.

But that’s only if he prevails in reliably Republican Arizona, Georgia and Utah.

In Utah, Trump’s deep unpopularity among the large population of Mormon voters could lead to four candidates winning 10 percent or more of the state’s vote. That kind of uncertainty opens the door to a win there for Clinton or for third-party candidates Evan McMullin and Gary Johnson.

In Arizona, won by the Republican nominee in all but one election since 1952, Trump’s characterization of some Hispanic immigrants as criminals has turned off many in the state’s growing and Democratic-leaning Hispanic community.

GOP nominees have carried Georgia in seven of the last eight presidential elections. But about a quarter of the state’s voters are African American, a reliably Democratic-voting bloc. Like Virginia, Georgia is also home to well-educated young professionals more likely to favor Clinton, said Chris Jankowski, a Virginia-based national GOP consultant.

“With Trump bleeding out, he could find himself competing to win the white vote in Georgia,” Jankowski said. “That’s when you know it’s over.”

See also:  Trump’s rigged election claims may leave lasting damage

Chart the path Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton must take on the Road to 270 to reach the White House with AP’s Electoral College interactive map: http://elections.ap.org/content/road-270-0