Billy Bush told host Robin Roberts on Wednesday's airing of "Good Morning America that if he thought for one second that President Donald Trump was discussing "sexual assault strategy" during their infamous 2005 meeting, he would have called law enforcement.
The former "Today" co-host also noted that he didn't take Trump's comments seriously.
"If I had ever thought ... that there was a grown man sitting in front of me detailing his sexual assault strategy, I would have called the FBI," Bush said.
Noting that he thought Trump was bragging, Bush said that he didn't have the strength of character to stop Trump's comments about "grabbing" women by the "p***y," and, in fact, "added to the conversation" by "keeping the ball in the air."
Bush claimed that his banter with Trump was strictly work-related, and despite the huge fallout that resulted in Bush's firing from his job as co-host of "Today," Bush revealed that he and Trump never spoke after the tape went public.
Noting that when he found out that the conversation had been recorded, Bush dismissed the validity of the claims because "it was Trump."
"It was ... inconsequential," Bush said. "He wasn't running for president. He was, at the time, the biggest star on television."
About his reaction to the tape going public, Bush said he "recoiled" when he heard the recording, and that "nobody" reacted more harshly than him.
"It was guttural (sic)," he said about hearing the recording for the first time. "Nobody reacted harsher and more gutturally (sic) than I did ... It really, really just killed me."
Bush admitted that he should have done more to stop Trump from speaking in the way that he did, and should not have added to the conversation, egging him on.
"People also say, 'You should have stopped it,'" he revealed. "I didn't have the strength of character at the time to do that. I wish I did."
The tape, reportedly recorded while Bush interviewed Trump on the set of "Days of Our Lives" in 2005, captured a vulgar exchange between Trump and Bush, with Trump referencing how "easy" it was to get what he wanted from women because he was "a star." The tape was released by the Washington Post and went viral upon its airing.
In the video, Trump can be heard saying, “I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.
"And when you’re a star, they let you do it," Trump said. "You can do anything.”
Bush confirmed, “Whatever you want,” in agreement.
“Grab them by the p***y. You can do anything,” Trump said.
The recording was released weeks before the 2016 presidential election, and led many to believe that Trump would lose the election to Hillary Clinton as a result.
At the time, Trump and his camp called the 2005 comments "locker room banter" and apologized to those offended by them. In 2005, Trump was a businessman and host of NBC’s “The Apprentice.” He didn’t enter politics until June 2015.