Roker, who had been scheduled to be off for the week, was called on to fill in for Bush.
"Obviously I'm embarrassed and ashamed".
In a odd twist to the controversy, the New York Times reported Sunday that a call to Bush's office at NBC headquarters went to a voice mail message that said: "You've reached Billy Bush's office".
If Bush's potty mouth didn't have his career circling the commissary latrine at NBC's corporate headquarters, then political correctness had taken a day off. "Yes, that is audio of Donald Trump in 2005 telling a giggling Billy Bush that one of the perks of fame is that he can grab women's genitalia without permission", said Oliver.
"NBC, which owns 'Access Hollywood, ' has suspended Billy for his role in that conversation, pending further review", Hall added.
The tape raised many questions about why NBC had not released the footage; apparently, "Access Hollywood" (overseen by the entertainment division, as opposed to NBC News) had discovered the tape last Monday and the network was waiting for lawyers to give the go-ahead.
Today co-anchor Savannah Guthrie also addressed Bush's suspension earlier in the show while discussing Sunday night's presidential debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton. "He lied to you, he lied to Matt Lauer, he lied to his mom".
The now infamous Trump tape, leaked to the Washington Post on Friday, came from a hot-mic feed in 2005 when Bush was interviewing Trump, then doing The Apprentice, prior to an appearance on the daytime soap Days of Our Lives, where the two were met by actress Arianne Zucker.
A 2005 conversation of Trump's recently surfaced, seeing him boast about groping a married woman. "I hate it", Trump said Sunday at a presidential debate.
Roker opened by saying, "As you can see, Billy Bush will not be joining us today".
In May, NBC announced that Bush would join "Today" as a co-anchor, and in what CNN media reporter Brian Stelter calls "a multi-million-dollar bet on Bush", moved him from "Access Hollywood" in Los Angeles to "Today" in NY.
Over the summer, Roker had an on-air spat with Bush over his handling of Olympian Ryan Lochte's robbery scandal.
On Monday morning, Stelter reported that several "Today" staffers aren't optimistic about Bush returning to NBC's morning airwaves.