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Billy Bush opens up about Trump 'Access Hollywood' tape

It’s been almost seven months, and Billy Bush is ready to talk.

Bush opened up to The Hollywood Reporter about the infamous “locker room talk” tape involving President Donald Trump that resulted in Bush losing his job at NBC. In the column, he said that he’s seen the tape only three times, once just before it was leaked and twice ahead of the interview with THR.

He admitted that seeing the tape left him feeling “totally and completely gutted.”

>> Read more trending news

“Looking back upon what was said on that bus, I wish I had changed the topic,” he said. “(Trump) liked TV and competition. I could’ve said, ‘Can you believe the ratings on whatever?’ But I didn’t have the strength of character to do it.”

Bush also claimed that “plenty of people” knew about the tapes at NBC.

“I was kind of bopping along, and I don’t know if it was God or what that said, ‘OK, you’ve developed. You’re a pretty good guy. Let’s see how you handle this.’ And ka-boom!” he said. “It all comes apart.”

Despite being fired, Bush said he remains in contact with "Today” show co-hosts Matt Lauer and Hoda Kotb. As for his plans for the future, Bush said he is still hoping to get back into TV.

He has been pitching a new series to focus on pop culture, sports and celebrity interviews and said he hopes to show fans his softer, more empathetic side.

'SNL' season finale touts The Rock for president, features Trump's take on 'Hallelujah'

President Donald Trump will have one less thing to tweet about – at least for the next few months.

Saturday Night Live's 42nd season came to a close this weekend in a star-studded finale featuring five-time host Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and musical guest Katy Perry, as well as cameos by Tom Hanks and Scarlett Johansson. 

>> Read more trending news

The episode kicked off with its Trump team – including Alec Baldwin as the president and Johansson as first daughter Ivanka Trump – singing Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." The sketch was a reprise of the show's post-election cold open, which featured McKinnon, playing defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, performing the same song.

"I'm not giving up because I did nothing wrong, but I can't speak for these people," Baldwin's Trump told the audience.

>> Watch the sketch here

But the political talk didn't end there. During his monologue, Johnson jokingly announced that he will run for president in 2020 with Hanks as his running mate. 

"In the past, I never would have considered running for president," Johnson said. "I didn't think I was qualified at all, but now, I'm actually worried that I'm too qualified."

Hanks added, "Well, the truth is, America needs us. No one can seem to agree on anything anymore, except two things."

"Pizza and us," Johnson quipped.

>> Click here to watch

Later in the show, Hanks appeared in another callback as the wildly popular (and bizarre) David S. Pumpkins – with a twist. The character, renamed David S. Pimpkins, was one of several guest stars in a rap video with an overabundance of featured artists.

>> Click here to watch the sketch (WARNING: Profanity)

The season finale also marked the last SNL episode for cast members Bobby Moynihan, who will star in CBS's "Me, Myself & I," and Vanessa Bayer, who shared the news that she was leaving the show in an Instagram post Saturday.

>> Click here to watch Moynihan as "Drunk Uncle"

>> Click here to watch Bayer as meteorologist Dawn Lazarus (WARNING: Profanity)

Trump responds to reports that he revealed classified info to Russia

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to respond to reports that he revealed classified information during a recent meeting with Russian officials.

>> WaPost: Trump revealed classified information to Russia during recent meeting

"As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety," Trump wrote. "Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism."

Miss USA says affordable health care is a 'privilege,' not a right

The reign of the newly crowned Miss USA is off to a rocky start.

Even before Kara McCullough, Miss District of Columbia, was announced the winner, social media was in a frenzy over her responses during the Q&A segment of the broadcast.

McCullough, a 25-year-old physical scientist at the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, was asked whether affordable health care for all U.S. citizens is a right or a privilege.

>> Photos: Miss District of Columbia Kara McCullough wins Miss USA 2017

“I’m definitely going to say it’s a privilege,” she said. “As a government employee, I am granted health care, and I see firsthand that for one to have health care, you have to have jobs.”

McCullough also set fingers a-tweeting when she said she did not consider herself a feminist.

McCullough, a woman of color, said she was worried about how audiences would view her natural hair in a sea of straight and teased pageant locks.

>> Read more trending news

“When I chose to wear my hair curly, I was afraid. I didn’t know how people were going to accept it, if anyone was going to be receptive to it at all, but I felt like a Grecian goddess on stage!” she told Refinery 29.

But it was her viewpoints that ended up as the topic of debate rather than her hairstyle:

McCullough is a 2013 graduate of South Carolina State University, a historically black college in Orangeburg, South Carolina.

She follows the reign of Deshauna Barber, the former Miss USA who also hailed from D.C.

The organization, once owned by President Donald Trump, was sold in 2015 to talent agency and entertainment company WME/IMG.

'Morning Joe' hosts: Kellyanne Conway said she needed to take shower after defending Trump

"Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski made some controversial claims Monday about the off-air behavior of White House adviser Kellyanne Conway during President Donald Trump's campaign.

While they admittedly aren’t Conway’s biggest fans, they suggested in their criticism that Conway, who was a member of Trump’s campaign team and later became campaign manager, secretly has a distaste for Trump.

>> Read more trending news

Brzezinski made the following claims about Conway’s off-air attitude:

"This is a woman, by the way, who came on our show during the campaign and would shill for Trump in extensive fashion, and then she would get off the air, the camera would be turned off, the microphone would be taken off, and she would say, ‘Blech, I need to take a shower’ because she disliked her candidate so much," Brzezinski said.

Scarborough added: "I don't know that she ever said, 'I'm doing this for the money,' but, 'This is just my summer vacation, my summer in Europe' and basically, 'I'm gonna get through this.'"

>> Watch the clip here

(H/T Mediaite)

Glenn Beck offers Bill O'Reilly a job with The Blaze in on-air interview

Glenn Beck, founder of conservative media outlet The Blaze, offered former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly a job in an on-air interview Friday. The two are former colleagues at Fox News.

>> Bill O’Reilly breaks silence on podcast

Beck left the network in 2011; Fox executives told Politico that he was losing sponsors, while Beck contends that he had “differences” with the network, including invoking his religious beliefs on-air. O’Reilly was fired earlier this year.

The offer came during a segment that saw O’Reilly praise Beck for having the foresight to leave Fox and control “his own destiny,” – unlike him. O’Reilly has claimed his firing was a “hit job” and that he was specifically targeted.

>> Read more trending news

In the interview, O’Reilly states that his firing has to do with “destroying voices that the far left doesn’t like,” not the allegations of harassment that led to $13 million in settlements paid out to his accusers since 2016.

Beck offered this in response to O’Reilly’s praise.

“I thank you for that, Bill, and I would like to say publicly ... it’s why I would like you to work for The Blaze. ... I could not get the cable coverage by myself because I’m not powerful enough, unless you have a giant corporation behind you. ... If we could unite our powers for good, as opposed to evil — but that’s another conversation.”

It’s not clear what “evil” Beck was referring to.

>> Listen to the segment here

Second Trump golf course vandalized in 2 months

Another golf course run by the Trump Organization has been vandalized

>> Watch the news report here

This time, the Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point in New York fell victim. Three vandals allegedly broke onto the course and cut down four trees Tuesday morning, according to CNN

The vandals left behind one of their chainsaws at the course owned by New York City, but operated by Trump, CNN reported.

>> Read more trending news

The crime carries possible charges of felony criminal mischief.

A similar incident happened in March at Trump National Golf Club in California. Activists broke in and carved “No more tigers. No more wood,” into the green. 

Read more at CNN.

WATCH: Melissa McCarthy's Spicer, Baldwin's Trump get spicy on 'SNL'

"Saturday Night Live" fans knew that host Melissa McCarthy would spice up the comedy show as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer in this week's highly anticipated episode. She didn't disappoint, turning up the heat with Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump in a fiery viral moment.

>> Melissa McCarthy spotted driving 'Spicer podium' through NYC

In the sketch, which began with Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Aidy Bryant) briefing reporters before McCarthy's Spicer sprang from the bushes, pushed his colleague out of the way and took over the podium to defend Trump.

"If he's crazy, he's crazy like a fox with mental problems," McCarthy-as-Spicer told a reporter who asked whether Trump was "unhinged." 

"Spicey" then addressed a follow-up question about the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the status of the Russia investigation.

>> Video shows Melissa McCarthy transforming into Sean Spicer in ‘SNL’ teaser

“Trump is innocent," McCarthy's Spicer said. "How do we know? Because he told us so. Period. Then he hired lawyers to agree with him, and they’re going to prove it with a certified letter, which you know is the truth because it costs an extra $2 to have it certified.”

After explaining Comey's firing with Russian dolls, McCarthy-as-Spicer flew into a rage, throwing a pillar into the crowd when asked whether he was surprised that Trump didn't fire him before Comey.

But what upset "Spicey" even more was the suggestion that Trump hadn't been honest with him. The press secretary then took his motorized podium on a road trip to find the president, who was at his New Jersey golf club.

"Have you ever told me to say things that aren't true?" McCarthy's Spicer asked Baldwin's Trump, who replied, "Only since you started working here."

"Trump" then tried to ease his employee's fears with an unusual request.

"Kiss me," Baldwin's Trump said, embracing "Spicey." "I'm famous; it's OK."

"It this like 'The Godfather,' where you kiss me and no one ever sees me again?" McCarthy's Spicer asked. 

"Yes," Baldwin-as-Trump replied before the two shared an epic lip-lock.

>> Watch the sketch here (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised)

Baldwin's Trump also appeared in the show's cold open, a parody of the real Trump's interview with NBC News' Lester Holt (Michael Che). In the sketch, Che's Holt is shocked when Baldwin-as-Trump admits to firing Comey because of the Russia probe.

"But that's obstruction of justice," Che-as-Holt said, to which "Trump" replied, "Sure, OK."

"Wait, so did I get him? Is this all over?" Che's Holt asked.

>> Read more trending news

The bit also featured House Speaker Paul Ryan (Mikey Day) serving the president two scoops of ice cream.

The president later insisted that he's nothing like former President Richard Nixon.

"I am not a crook, OK? Plus, I bet Nixon only got one scoop of ice cream for dessert, but I get two scoops," "Trump" said.

>> Watch the sketch here (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised)

The Rock in 2020? Why Dwayne Johnson could run for president

If Donald Trump can win America’s highest office, Dwayne Johnson‘s political rise — if he wants one — could be rocket-like by comparison.

GQ cover story by Caity Weaver delves into the potential candidacy of Johnson, who from his wrestling fame as The Rock became the highest-paid actor in the world. The story provides plenty of nuggets about the most famous UM alum in the universe and how he’s grappling with his nascent political ambition.

From the profile:

“Johnson doesn’t hesitate when I ask him whether he honestly might one day give up his life as the highest-paid movie star on earth—which is unquestionably easier, more fun, and more lucrative than being president of the United States—in order to run for office. 'I think that it’s a real possibility,' he says solemnly.”

Politically, Johnson is ambiguous. Weaver writes that he spoke at the 2000 Republican convention but also attended the Democratic convention and is currently a registered independent. Last year, both parties asked him for a presidential endorsement, and he declined. He reveals in the profile that he is strongly against Trump’s executive order banning travelers from Muslim majority countries.

>> Read more trending news

When Weaver asks how he thinks Trump is doing, he is careful but doesn’t avoid the question.

"‘Mmm … With any job you come into, you’ve got to prove yourself. And …' Johnson pauses, performing lightning-fast mental calibrations. 'Personally, I feel that if I were president, poise would be important. Leadership would be important. Taking responsibility for everybody. [If I didn’t agree with someone] on something, I wouldn’t shut them out. I would actually include them. The first thing we’d do is we’d come and sit down and we’d talk about it. It’s hard to categorize right now how I think he’s doing, other than to tell you how I would operate, what I would like to see.'

“'What would you like to see?'

“'Right?' Johnson says, laughing. He’s obviously a little nervous, plucking at the spandex material stretching across his massive thighs, but he doesn’t attempt to end the line of questioning. 'I’d like to see a better leadership. I’d like to see a greater leadership.'”

Clearly, he has immense cross-cultural appeal, as the profile explores.

He is the son of an African-Canadian father and Samoan-American mother, who has residency ties to all corners of the country, is beloved in the heartland, and as a movie actor, has cross-cultural and demographic bonafides. Weaver writes of a hyper-patriotic celebrity who is a “quick study with boundless attention to detail,” projects “authority, capability and strength,” and possesses “supercharged charm.”

Read more from the Palm Beach Post.

Trump tweets after firing Comey, says even Dems 'will be thanking me'

President Donald Trump is taking to Twitter to speak out about his controversial firing of FBI Director James Comey.

>> Trump fires Comey: Has an FBI director been fired before and what happens now?

"The Democrats have said some of the worst things about James Comey, including the fact that he should be fired, but now they play so sad!" he tweeted early Wednesday. "James Comey will be replaced by someone who will do a far better job, bringing back the spirit and prestige of the FBI. Comey lost the confidence of almost everyone in Washington, Republican and Democrat alike. When things calm down, they will be thanking me!"

Late Tuesday, Trump also took a swipe at Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York.

>> Read more trending news

"Cryin' Chuck Schumer stated recently, 'I do not have confidence in him (James Comey) any longer.' Then acts so indignant. #draintheswamp," Trump wrote.

The White House announced the decision to fire Comey on Tuesday, sparking criticism from Democrats and some Republicans, including Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake.

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