The infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, in which President Donald Trump boasted about kissing and grabbing women "by their pussies" in a 2005 video, was an inside job which was leaked by an NBC News staffer on Billy Bush's “The Today Show,” sources told Page Six. Following the public airing of the tape, Bush lost his job.

“NBC News knew for a while about the existence of the tape. Billy himself had told them about it. People in the news division became frustrated that ‘Access Hollywood’ was taking too long to air it and decided it had to come out," a source told the publication.

Sources said that Matt Lauer, host of the show apparently did not like co-host Bush.

"The leaked tape served a dual purpose: It helped get Bush out of the way — Matt Lauer didn’t like him and felt he was a liability — and NBC thought it would derail Trump,”  the source told Page Six. "But all it did was crush Billy, and, ironically, his own network was behind it.”

However, another "Today" insider said: "The leak did not come from ‘Today.’ It was leaked by somebody on the West Coast who hated Billy Bush and wanted to take him down."

A representative for Bush did not comment when contacted by the magazine.

The video was recorded in September 2005 in the NBC Studios parking lot when Trump was preparing to appear in an entertainment news program episode, in which he had a cameo. In a behind-the-scenes interview with Bush, the segment's host, both men made lewd comments about women. Bush, a cousin of former president George W. Bush, laughed at Trump's vulgar comments at various points and when he spotted actor Arianne Zucker, who was wearing a purple dress, he said: “Sheesh, your girl’s hot as shit in the purple. Yes, the Donald has scored. Whoa, my man!”

It was leaked by the Washington Post during the presidential election campaign. Bush later issued a statement to Variety that said: “Obviously I’m embarrassed and ashamed. 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.”

However, his career was already in jeopardy as the video received criticism for the sexist comments and many women demanded his removal from the job. Meanwhile, Trump initially said the recording was "locker room banter" and a "private conversation." He also issued a public apology on Facebook later, and since he went on to become president, he was clearly not as affected by the incident as Bush was.