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President Donald Trump says he understands why Barbara Bush wasn’t fond of him, saying that the former first lady was right to be “nasty” to him, because he was so critical of her sons.
“I have heard that she was nasty to me, but she should be. Look what I did to her sons,” Trump told the Washington Times in an interview published Thursday night about his comments about former president George W. Bush and former presidential candidate Jeb Bush.
“She’s the mother of somebody that I competed against. Most people thought he was going to win and he was quickly out,” Trump added, referring to Jeb, who he beat in the 2016 GOP primary. “I hit him very hard.
“That’s when his brother came to make the first speech for him,” Trump said. “And I said, ‘What took you so long?’”
As a candidate, Trump was aggressively critical of Jeb Bush — whom he blasted as having “low energy” — as well as the former president, who Trump repeatedly criticized for his handling of the war in Iraq.
Trump’s comments about Barbara Bush came after the late first lady’s intensely critical comments about him to USA Today reporter Susan Page for her biography “The Matriarch” became public.
Bush, who passed away last April, had told Page she so fiercely disliked Trump that she blamed his attacks on her son Jeb Bush for what she called a heart attack and, by the end of her life, no longer considered herself a Republican.
Excerpts of the book released last week detailed Bush's long-standing scorn for Trump, which went back decades. In diary entries from the 1990s, which she made available to Page, she described Trump as "greedy, selfish, and ugly."