On Tuesday, People magazine posted a report in which a source said NBC planned to edit Billy Bush out of the 11-year-old video in which GOP nominee Donald Trump is heard making lewd comments. According to People, the “Today” show co-host “can’t recover” from the leak.
Although there is no confirmation as to who leaked the footage, the source tells PEOPLE that it was both “purposeful” and “not a low-level leak.”
“They could have released the tape and edited him out,” the source says of the individual that leaked the footage. “That was the plan — they were trying to approve it and then someone leaked it. That’s what Access Hollywood eventually did and they played it … but it was already out,” the source says and adds, “If they wanted to protect him, they could have edited it out which they did on the final Access piece that aired on Friday, but they left it in when it was leaked.”
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An NBC spokesman later said: “There absolutely was never a consideration by NBC News to edit the tape.”
Perhaps not by NBC News, but that doesn’t mean another branch of NBC didn’t plan to edit the video.
As for who leaked the video, some think it was an establishment Republican, and one report suggested it was a top aide to Rep. Paul Ryan.
“Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed. It’s no excuse, but this happened eleven years ago – I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I’m very sorry,” said a “wrecked” and “devastated” Bush.
Liz McNeil and Natalie Stone continued:
A show source previously told PEOPLE that the morning show could have a “mutiny” on its hands from its female staffers if Bush wasn’t disciplined in some way.
“I don’t want to see him again,” the source said. “And I think there are a lot of women who feel the same way … I know this will have to be addressed by the producers and NBC. It has to be, or else they’ll have a mutiny on their hands.”
Not terribly surprised. They knew he was on the tape but didn't suspend him till tape was made public.
— Polly Andry (@PollyAndry) October 11, 2016
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