Mark Kornblau, senior vice president of communications at NBCUniversal News Group, denied Tuesday that NBC New wanted to edit Billy Bush’s comments out of a leaked Donald Trump video. The “Today” show host was suspended from the network after the Republican nominee was caught joking about sexual assault more than 10 years ago.
“NOT true of @NBCNews -- no way, no how that would have happened,” Kornblau tweeted to his followers. “People report is 100% false. No chance that tape would ever have been edited by @NBCNews. Period.”
Kornblau cited a tweet from Charles Ornstein, a senior reporter at Pro Publica, who shared a report from People Magazine. “NBC planned to edit Billy Bush out of the Trump footage before releasing it, @people reports. WOW,” he wrote. The post was shared scores of times.
While Kornblau refutes the allegation, the news organization allegedly wanted to splice the video so Bush wouldn’t appear. The video was leaked by the Washington Post Friday.
“They could have released the tape and edited him out,” an insider told People Magazine Monday. “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 added: “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.”
Like Trump, Bush apologized for his comments. “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,” he said in a statement Friday. “I’m very sorry.”
Now, it’s unclear if Bush will still have a job with NBC. “I don’t want to see him again,” the source told People Magazine. “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.”
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