“The tape was leaked by the NBC News division, by somebody at the ‘Today’ show,” says one source. “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.”
The leak got Bush fired from “Today,” which was, according to the source, part of the plan.
“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,” says the source.
When Bush first came to “Today,” sources told Page Six he did not get along with the cast, who considered him a “frat boy.” Then, he wrong-footed with his Ryan Lochte story about the supposed Rio robbery. And Lauer wasn’t happy that Bush was being hailed as his heir apparent. “The leak was not just a political move,” another source tells us. “Lauer felt threatened.”
The leaker is still at NBC and has not been disciplined, says the source, who adds, “There was no investigation, no internal witch hunt by NBC into who leaked the tape. It served their purposes.”