Billy Bush on Lessons Learned After Infamous Trump Tape: "Everybody Goes Through Something"

The Ellen DeGeneres Show -  Billy Bush - Publicity -H 2019
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

The ex-'Today' anchor opens up about his three-year career break and shares how the infamous 'Access Hollywood' video with Trump will impact his return to TV as a news anchor.

Billy Bush opened up about lessons learned following the scandal of the infamous Access Hollywood tape with then-Apprentice host Donald Trump.

"At this point for me it's about going forward," Bush said during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Friday. "You learn from these things. It would be a real shame to just check back into the game having not done anything."

He elaborated on what he took away from the major news story, which ultimately cost him his job at NBC's Today. "I've got three daughters," he began. "I said with my middle daughter recently — they're all going to be getting out there in the workplace and working — and if they walk into a room and they walk out of that room, if people are smack-talking when they leave, that's an unfortunate thing and I don't want that to happen. So you learn that."

He continued, "Everybody goes through something. I will say, as an interviewer, as a person that's delivering news that people consume about other people most oftenly, it's good to know what it feels like to be down and I had never really in my life felt what it's like to be down. And when you know that, you approach people a lot differently."

After a three-year career break, Bush has found his new TV home as an anchor for Extra Extra, a new iteration of the syndicated entertainment show debuting this fall as Extra moves to Fox. Bush stepped out for the gig during the 2019 Emmy Awards to "big buzz" for his red carpet return.

When speaking with DeGeneres, Bush also discussed his late uncle George H.W. Bush and noted that his funeral was the first time that he saw Trump since the release of the tape.

He said that he had no interaction with Trump during the service. "I was sitting in the middle of the church and of course he's the last one to enter for security reasons, but I saw him," Bush said. "I thought it was a good thing, a beautiful thing, that the former president stipulated before he died, he went out of his way to say, 'Do you want him to come or not?'" Bush said he and H.W. Bush didn't want the headline to be about Trump being blackballed from the service, instead of about what H.W. Bush has accomplished, and that he was granted an invitation. 

Bush did note that while it is normal protocol for the sitting president to do the eulogy at a former president's funeral, "he had a lucky circumstance there because 43 was his son, so he did the eulogy."

Watch Bush's appearance below.