After carefully working his way back into public consciousness since his Access Hollywood tape fiasco with Donald Trump in late 2016, Billy Bush swung by Real Time on Friday to further discuss his fall from grace and the “irony” of losing his cushy Today job while Trump became president of our fine country. (“It’s shitty,” he admitted.) However, in a deviation from discussing the aftermath of the tape’s release with Bill Maher, Bush shared an interesting tidbit about his early years reporting on Trump for Access. Specifically, how Trump would always lie about his Apprentice ratings when they faltered later in the show’s run, owing to the fact people would always believe anything he said.
“He’s been saying No. 1 forever. Finally I had enough,” Bush explained, noting how he would frequently interview Trump on-camera for NBC. “I said, Wait a minute, Donald, you haven’t been No. 1 in five or four years, not in any category, not in any demo. He goes, Well, did you see last Thursday? Last Thursday, 18-49, last five minutes! And I’m like, No, I don’t know that stat. He’s like, I told you. And later, when the camera are off, he says, Billy, look, you just tell them and they believe it. That’s it. They just do. Ah, okay. And from that point forward Access Hollywood was always number one, even if we were actually number two.”
Bush also clarified that he and Trump haven’t spoken in years, and he has zero desire to talk with him ever again. “I didn’t want him to call,” Bush said. “I don’t want to talk about this.”