The White House on Saturday hit back against the Bush family, after critical comments emerged about President Donald Trump from both former presidents in the prominent Republican family.
The Bushes were quoted in historian Mark Updegrove's new book, The Last Republicans, with former president George H W Bush saying in May 2016 that Trump was a "blowhard."
"I don't like him. I don't know much about him, but I know he's a blowhard. And I'm not too excited about him being a leader," Bush told Updegrove.
The 41st president also said that Trump has a "certain ego."
His son, former president George W Bush, also said that Trump was lacking in "humility."
"As you know from looking at my family, [humility] is a certain heritage. That's what they expect, and we're not seeing that [in Trump]," Bush was quoted as saying in the book.
Never one to shy away from a fight, the White House responded on Saturday with an anonymous Trump administration official criticizing the "legacy" of the former Republican presidents.
"If one presidential candidate can dissemble a political party, it speaks volumes about how strong a legacy its past two presidents really had. And that begins with the Iraq War, one of the greatest foreign policy mistakes in American history," a White House official told CNN.
"President Trump remains focused on keeping his promises to the American people by bringing back jobs, promoting an America First foreign policy and standing up for the forgotten men and women of our great country," said the White House official on Saturday.
In an interview with CNN, Updegrove said that Bush junior was concerned when Trump told the media "I am my own advisor," and that it made the former president think, "Wow, this guy doesn't know what it means to be president."
As the New York Times reported, the younger Bush also did not believe Trump would win the presidency and told Updegrove he voted for "none of the above." Bush senior voted for Hillary Clinton.
Former top Trump aide Steve Bannon last month ripped into George W. Bush, calling his presidency the most "destructive" in US history.
"There has not been a more destructive presidency than George Bush's," the former White House chief strategist and Breitbart head said in a speech to the California Republican Party.
His comments came after the former president gave a speech Thursday that was widely seen as a critique of the current president.
Asked about the Bushes' comments before he touched down in Japan, President Trump said, "I’ll comment after we come back. I don’t need headlines. I don’t want to make their move successful."
Amber Jamieson is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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