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Billy Bush suspended from TODAY pending further review

/ Source: TODAY

Billy Bush has been suspended from TODAY "pending further review" for his role in a controversial 2005 conversation with Donald Trump.

A videotape of a discussion between Bush and Trump — captured on a hot mic while off camera on "Access Hollywood" — has drawn backlash for lewd comments by Trump in which he talks about kissing and groping women and trying to seduce a married woman. Bush can be heard on the tape laughing and joking with Trump.

"I know we've all been deeply troubled by the revelations of the past 48 hours,'' senior vice president Noah Oppenheim wrote in an internal memo. "Let me be clear — there is simply no excuse for Billy's language and behavior on that tape. NBC has decided to suspend Billy, pending further review of this matter."

Bush did not appear on TODAY's Take Monday. The hour was anchored by Tamron Hall and Al Roker.

"As you can see Billy Bush is not joining us today, as you're probably aware, (he was) part of that 2005 Access Hollywood taping with Donald Trump that's been in the news all weekend,'' Roker said.

"NBC, which owns Access Hollywood, has suspended Billy for his role in that conversation pending further review,'' Hall added.

Bush issued an apology on Friday night.

"Obviously I'm embarrassed and ashamed,'' he said. "It's no excuse, but this happened 11 years ago — I was younger, less mature, and acted foolishly in playing along. I'm very sorry."

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.