Defying a Taboo, Trump Condemns George W. Bush for 9/11 attacks

President George W. Bush talks to rescue workers at the ruins of the World Trade Center after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Win McNamee/REUTERS

Donald Trump is doing something that Democrats have never been inclined to do: go after George W. Bush on the subject of 9/11, accusing him of a lack of vigilance.

A back-and-forth spat between the two archenemies in the Republican primary, Trump and Jeb Bush, lasted all of last weekend, after the Bush campaign published an ad attacking Trump for having poor judgment.

Trump responded on Friday by telling Bloomberg, “When you talk about George Bush, I mean, say what you want, the World Trade Center came down during his time.” 

President Bush’s former White House press secretary, Ari Fleischer, retaliated on CNN, saying that “when Donald Trump implies that since 9/11 took place on Bush’s watch he is partially responsible for it, he’s starting to sound like a truther,” referring to the conspiracy theorists who believe 9/11 was an inside job by the U.S. government. Trump, of course, wasn’t saying that Bush dynamited the Twin Towers, as some conspiracists have ranted. He is charging that because the towers were attacked while Bush was in office, America was “not safe” during his presidency.

On Monday morning, Trump wasn’t ready to end the feud, unleashing a tirade in a string of tweets.