Billy Bush Talks Tape Scandal For The First Time: 'I Wish I Had Changed The Topic'

May. 22 2017, Updated 6:24 p.m. ET

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Billy Bush has spoken out for the first time about the controversial Access Hollywood tape with Donald Trump, which ultimately got him axed from his TODAY show slot as Trump rose to become the country's new president.

"I will admit the irony is glaring. Trump has his process for his participation in the tape, and I have mine. I had to turn this into a positive," he confessed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday.

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The disgraced TV host added that he wished he tried to change the subject when Trump began saying he could "do anything" to women as a famous star, even "grab'em by the p***y."

"Looking back on what was said on that bus, I wish I had changed the topic. I wish I had said: 'Does anyone want water?' or 'It looks like it's gonna rain.' He liked TV and competition. I could've said, 'Can you believe the ratings on whatever?' I didn't have the strength of character to do it."

Later, Bush threw Trump under the bus, slamming the prez's excuse of "locker room talk."

"I'm in a lot of locker rooms, I am an athlete, and no, that is not the type of conversation that goes on or that I've participated in," Bush told the publication.

When asked if he'd heard from Trump in the wake of the scandal, Bush said no.

"I don't think I'd interview Trump. It would be a spectacle," he said of the possibility of another one-on-one with Trump. "In television, we love a spectacle, but I've come too far and learned too much. There are others that I'd rather interview, like Emmanuel Macron of France."

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