President Donald Trump dismissed criticism from former first lady Barbara Bush detailed in a new book, saying he was not surprised by her words given that he had defeated her son for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
“I have heard that she was nasty to me, but she should be,” the president told The Washington Times in an interview published on Thursday. “Look what I did to her sons.”
Trump was responding to the former first lady’s criticism included in a biography published this month, The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty, by USA TODAY Washington Bureau chief Susan Page. Excerpts of the book were first published in USA TODAY.
In that book, Bush blamed Trump for aggravating her long battle with congestive heart failure and chronic pulmonary disease. Bush also told Page that she’d “probably say no” when asked if she still considered herself a Republican.
Bush, who died a year ago this month, and the Bush family had a tense relationship with Trump, who frequently criticized former President George W. Bush on the campaign trail in 2016. Trump also frequently derided former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, one of his opponents for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, dubbing him “low energy Jeb.”
“I’m trying not to think about it,” Barbara Bush said in an interview that took place in 2018 as the first anniversary of Trump’s election approached. “We’re a strong country, and I think it will all work out.”
Trump’s remarks directed at Barbara Bush come after he has drawn criticism from fellow Republicans for a month-long assault on the late Sen. John McCain of Arizona. McCain, who died in August, had sharp words for the president toward the end of his life, and used his final speech on the Senate floor to call for a return to comity and bipartisanship in Washington.
Source: John Fritze, USA TODAY
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