In his first interview since President Donald Trump reportedly denied making vulgar comments while on an “Access Hollywood” bus in 2005, Billy Bush said he was “infuriated” by the president’s recent behavior.
“When he said this, it infuriated me on the personal front,” Bush said in an interview with “The Late Show” on Monday. “By the way, I would also like to say that's not me on the bus. You don't get to say that because I was there and the last 14 months of my life I have been dealing with it.
“You dealt with it for 14 minutes and went on to be the president,” the former "Access Hollywood" and "Today" show personality added.
In the now-infamous "Access Hollywood" tape, Trump can be heard talking about fame enabling him to grab women by the genitals and "just start kissing" them.
"When you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything," Trump says in the recording, which was leaked weeks before the presidential election.
Sources confirmed to ABC News in late November that Trump was privately questioning the authenticity of the tape. Sources said he made the claim to advisers in recent weeks and even a Republican senator earlier this year. The New York Times first reported Trump had denied it was him on the tape.
Bush, who had just been tapped to co-host the "Today" show, lost his job in the wake of the tape’s release.
Bush appeared to address the president directly on Monday, "That is your voice. I was there, you were there, that's your voice on the tape."
"Enough's enough. Stop playing around with people's lives," Bush said. "That upset me."
He said the fallout surrounding the tape caused him to do a lot of soul searching.
"It's an unbelievable irony. The very day he was swearing in as the 45th president of the United States, I was checking into this soul searching retreat in Santa Lena, California," Bush said. "It was the beginning of me saying, all right, get up, stop being sorry for yourself, stop worrying about these things, there's life to live, let's go, get better, be a better man, better person."
Bush also revealed that Matt Lauer, who was recently fired from NBC's "Today Show" over allegations of sexual impropriety, had attempted to help Bush in the fallout over the tape.
"We had a conversation about that. He told me that he went privately to the bosses and look that line," Bush said, referring to Lauer. "And I said I appreciate it and accepted it and thanked him."
As for the allegations against Lauer, he has apologized for "the pain I have caused others by words and actions," but said some of the claims were "untrue or mischaracterized."