Twice-impeached, one-term former president Donald Trump on Monday criticized a “failed and uninspiring presidency” and said a former president shouldn’t be “lecturing” Americans. Trump’s comments were directed at former president George W. Bush, who commented about the threat posed by domestic terrorism during his remarks at the Sept. 11 ceremony in Shanksville, Pa., on Saturday.
In decrying “violent extremists at home,” Bush condemned the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, when the pro-Trump mob overran the complex in a violent siege that resulted in the deaths of five people.
“So interesting to watch former President Bush, who is responsible for getting us into the quicksand of the Middle East (and then not winning!), as he 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,” Trump said 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?” Trump said. “He shouldn’t be lecturing us about anything. The World Trade Center came down during his watch. Bush led a failed and uninspiring presidency. He shouldn’t be lecturing anybody!”
Bush continually invoked “the nation I know” in his remarks Saturday, an echo of his previous rejection of the rhetoric of Trump, a fellow Republican. Trump, you’ll recall, infamously admonished the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” after the violence in Charlottesville, Va. And, before the smoke even had cleared after 9/11, Trump falsely crowed that his lower Manhattan building was then the tallest in the area.