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NBC planned to release the vulgar Donald Trump-Billy Bush footage at a time when it would have "maximum impact" on the election, TMZ reported today. 

The report cites multiple sources "connected with NBC," stating that executives knew about the footage for longer than they've said publicly.

The report states: 

The sources say many NBC execs have open disdain for Trump and their plan was to roll out the tape 48 hours before the debate so it would dominate the news cycle leading up to the face-off.

As we reported, Billy Bush was bragging about the tape -- in front of NBC execs at the Rio Olympics -- in early August. NBC says it's only known about the tape for a little more than a week.

TMZ also reports that NBC wanted to "sanitize" the footage before it was aired, removing parts that would make "Access Hollywood" host Billy Bush look worse. 

The tape was reportedly leaked early to the Washington Post by an NBC employee who disagreed that the footage should not be aired until Monday due to Hurricane Matthew coverage.

Earlier this week, NBC said the delay stemmed from concerns about a potential lawsuit by Trump. 

Bush is reportedly now negotiating his exit from NBC following the embarrassing footage, in which Trump bragged to him about grabbing women's genitals.

The new reports come as questions are being raised by a WikiLeaks document dump about the Clinton campaign's past coordination with the media. 

Tune in TONIGHT at 10pm ET as Hannity breaks down the media bias with Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson and more!

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