Trump Pissed Off Barbara Bush So Much It Gave Her a 'Heart Attack'

She'd hated the guy since the 1980s, according to a new book.

|
Mar 27 2019, 4:24pm

Photo by Tom Ervin/Getty Images

Barbara Bush was reportedly so furious about how Trump bullied Jeb Bush in the primaries that she blamed him for her "heart attack"—and kept a clock on her bedside table that counted down the days until he was out of office, a new book about the former first lady revealed.

On Wednesday, USA Today published an excerpt from its Washington bureau chief Susan Page's forthcoming book, The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty. Among other things, the biography—based on extensive interviews and Bush's diaries—gives us an in-depth look at just how much she hated Trump's goddamn guts.

According to Page, Bush's issues with Trump stretched back decades. In a 1990 diary entry, she dubbed him "the real symbol of greed in the 80s," and later wrote that his 1992 divorce from Ivana made the Trump name synonymous with "selfishness and ugly." Then came 2016, when Trump dunked on Jeb, like, 10,000 times during the GOP primary. He called the former first lady's son "sad and pathetic" and an "embarrassment to his family," making Barbara so brutally fucking pissed that Jeb himself had to try to talk her down.

Apparently, he couldn't manage to: In June of 2016, Bush was rushed to the hospital for a serious complication with her heart, which she'd had problems with for years—but she blamed this particularly bad episode on Trump himself. "It wasn’t technically a heart attack, though she called it that," Page writes.

Once Trump won the election, Bush basically abandoned the Republican Party for good. Per USA Today:

Did she still consider herself a Republican?

In an interview with me in October 2017, she answered that question yes. When I asked her again four months later, in February 2018, she said, "I'd probably say no today."

That was a stunning acknowledgment. Barbara Bush had been one of the most recognizable faces of the Republican Party through two presidencies. She was the matriarch of one of the GOP’s leading families. But after Trump’s rise, she saw it as a party she could not continue to support, a party she no longer recognized—even as one of her grandsons, George P. Bush, was on the ballot as a Republican running for re-election as Texas land commissioner.

And then there's, uh, this little gem:

After Trump was elected, a friend in Kennebunkport gave her a Trump countdown clock as a joke. The red, white, and blue digital clock displayed how many days, hours, minutes and seconds remained in Trump’s term. She parked it on the side table in her bedroom, next to the chair she would sit in to needlepoint or watch television.

It stayed there, next to her bed, until "the day she died" last April, Page wrote. If that doesn't scream "I hate this man with the fiery passion of a thousand burning suns," what does?

Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.

Stories