The feud between Donald Trump and Jeb Bush over the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks escalated on Sunday as Trump argued that his hard-line stance on immigration would have prevented the attacks while Bush defended his brother’s handling of them.
In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” host Chris Wallace asked Trump what he would have done differently in response to an earlier suggestion that then-President George W. Bush was partially at fault for the attacks. And Trump insisted he is not blaming the former president for them.
“Jeb [Bush] said ‘We were safe with my brother. We were safe.’ Well, the World Trade Center just went down. Now, am I trying to blame him? I’m not blaming anybody, but the World Trade Center came down, so when he said we were safe, we were not safe. We lost 3,000 people. It was one of the greatest — probably the greatest catastrophe ever in this country,” the Republican presidential hopeful said.
If he were president, Trump said, it would have been different.
“I am extremely, extremely tough on people coming into this country,” Trump said. And if he were president then, he said, he doubted “those people would’ve been in the country. … There’s a good chance that those people would not have been in the country.
“With that being said,” he added, “I’m not blaming George Bush, but I don’t want Jeb Bush to say ‘My brother kept us safe,’ because Sept. 11 was one of the worst days in the history of this country.”
In an interview with CNN’s “State of the Union,” Bush said Trump doesn’t seriously address how he would handle foreign policy as president.
“Across the spectrum of foreign policy, Mr. Trump talks about things as though he’s still on ‘The Apprentice,'” the former Florida governor said of his rival for the Republican presidential nomination.
“My brother responded to a crisis, and he did it as you would hope a president would do. He united the country, he organized our country and he kept us safe,” Jeb Bush said. “And there’s no denying that. The great majority of Americans believe that.”
In an earlier interview with Bloomberg’s Stephanie Ruhle, Trump said of George W. Bush, “He was president, OK? Don’t blame him or don’t blame him, but he was president.”
“The World Trade Center came down during his reign,” Trump added.
The comment sparked a flurry of criticism, and Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign has since released an attack ad lampooning Trump on national security.
Read more at POLITICO.