Former President Donald Trump on Monday tore into former President George W. Bush over his speech marking the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, saying Mr. Bush shouldn’t “lecture” Americans about right-wing terrorists.
“[H]e lectures us that terrorists on the ‘right’ are a bigger problem than those from foreign countries that hate America and that are pouring into our country right now,” Mr. Trump said of Mr. Bush in a statement. “If that is so, why was he willing to spend trillions of dollars and be responsible for the death of perhaps millions of people? He shouldn’t be lecturing us about anything.”
Mr. Bush spoke Saturday in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where United Flight 93 crashed on that harrowing day two decades ago. He called on Americans to confront domestic extremists, comparing them with terrorists abroad.
Although Mr. Bush did not directly call out the rioters who breached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 to stop Congress from certifying the 2020 election for President Biden, it was clear he was alluding to them.
“There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home,” Mr. Bush said. “But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. And it is our continuing duty to confront them.”
The speech was praised by media pundits, but Mr. Trump made it clear that he wasn’t a fan. He said the remarks reeked of hypocrisy because Mr. Bush started conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq to take out foreign terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
Mr. Trump went on to say that Mr. Bush led “a failed and uninspiring presidency.”
“He shouldn’t be lecturing anyone,” he said.
It was the second time in three days Mr. Trump used the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to criticize political rivals. On Saturday, he issued a blistering statement condemning Mr. Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.