President Trump said he was not surprised by former first lady Barbara Bush’s attacks on him, as posthumously quoted in a new biography.
“I have heard that she was nasty to me, but she should be. Look what I did to her sons,” he told The Washington Times in an exclusive Oval Office interview.
In the book “The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of a Dynasty,” USA Today reporter Susan Page quotes the late Barbara Bush calling President Trump “a symbol of greed.”
The book is based on interviews with Mrs. Bush as well as diaries provided to the author.
Her disdain for Mr. Trump went back at least to 1990, according to her diary, when the real estate mogul needled her husband at a charity benefit over giving expensive speeches in Japan.
“Trump now means greed, selfishness and ugly. So sad,” she wrote in her diary at the time.
Her view of Mr. Trump soured further in 2015 after he announced his bid for the presidency and ran a campaign highly critical of her son, ex-President George W. Bush and his decision to invade Iraq.
Mr. Trump also eviscerated Mrs. Bush’s second son, Jeb Bush, during the campaign for being “low energy.”
“Look, she’s the mother of somebody that I competed against. Most people thought he [Jeb Bush] was going to win and he was quickly out.”
“I hit him very hard in South Carolina,” Mr. Trump said. “Remember? He was supposed to win South Carolina and I won it in a landslide. I hit him so hard.
“That’s when his brother came to make the first speech for him,” Mr. Trump continued. “And I said, ‘What took you so long?’ “
Like many longtime establishment Republicans and pundits in the press, Mrs. Bush wildly misread the mood of voters and assumed Mr. Trump would never win. So much so, she even penned a letter to send former President Bill Clinton after the election welcoming him to the ranks of first spouses, according to the book.
On the day after the 2016 election, however, Mrs. Bush woke up and “discovered to my horror that Trump had won.”