Former US President George W. Bush on Thursday said he doesn’t remember saying that Donald Trump’s inauguration was “some weird s—.”
“If I said it I don’t remember it,” Bush told NPR. “But I’m glad I went to the inauguration.”
When asked if the sentiment characterised his experience at the inauguration, Bush said that he was in greater awe of the peaceful transfer of power after a contentious election.
“What should characterise my reaction is it was a beautiful experience,” Bush said.
The forty-third president’s comments weren’t the only news story about Bush to go viral after Trump’s inauguration. Images of the former president fumbling with a rain tarp at the inauguration became a Twitter sensation.
“I wish that I’d gotten a rain poncho,” Bush told NPR.
Yashar Ali, a freelance reporter and former Democratic Party staffer, first reported Bush’s comments in New York Magazine. Ali claimed Bush’s characterization of the inauguration was overheard by three people on the dias.
The Bush family’s antipathy for Trump has hardly been kept secret — neither the former president, former first lady Laura Bush, or former President George H.W. Bush voted for Trump.
Bush has not shied away from knocking Trump’s policies, though he has avoided explicitly criticising the president.
In a February interview, Bush pushed back against the new president’s opinions on the media, and seemed to acknowledge critics’ assertion that Trump’s travel ban discriminated based primarily on religion. And on Thursday, the former president advocated for increased foreign aid and immigration reform, two areas where Bush has clashed with the more isolationist Trump.
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