EXCLUSIVE: Matt Lauer sits down with Fmr. President George W. Bush in his first interview since he left office

By: NBC Email
By: NBC Email

NEW YORK CITY, New York (KKCO) - Here's a preview where he talks about that controversial comment made by Kanye West right after Hurricane Katrina.

MATT LAUER: About a week after the storm hit NBC aired a telethon asking for help for the victims of Katrina. We had celebrities coming in to ask for money. And I remember it vividly 'cause I hosted it. And at one part of the evening I introduced Kanye West. Were you watching?
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH:Nope.
MATT LAUER: You remember what he said?
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Yes, I do. He called me a racist.
MATT LAUER:Well, what he said, "George Bush doesn't care about black people."
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: That's-- he's a racist. And I didn't appreciate it then. I don't-- I don't appreciate it now. It's one thing to say, (CLUNKING) you know, "I don't appreciate the way he's-- handle his business." It's another thing to say, "This man's a racist." I resent it, it's not true, and it was one of the most disgusting moments in my Presidency.
MATT LAUER: This from the book. // "I faced a lot of criticism as President. I didn't like hearing people claim that I lied about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction or cut taxes to benefit the rich. But the suggestion that I was racist because of the response to Katrina represented an all time low."
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Yeah. I-- still feel that way as-- as you read those words. I felt 'em when I heard 'em, felt 'em when I wrote 'em and I felt 'em when I'm listening to 'em.
MATT LAUER:You say you told Laura at the time it was the worst moment of your Presidency?
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH:Yes. //
MATT LAUER:I wonder if-- if some people are gonna read that, now that you've written it, and they might give you some heat for that. And the reason is this--
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: Don't care.
MATT LAUER: Well, here's the reason. You're not saying that the worst moment in you're Presidency was watching the misery in Louisiana. You're saying it was when someone insulted you because of that.
PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: No, I-- that-- and I also make it clear that the misery in Louisiana affected me deeply as well. There-- there's a lot of tough moments in the book. And-- it was a disgusting moment, pure and simple.

Matt Lauer's full interview with President Bush airs Monday night at 7:00pm Mountain time right here on KKCO.


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  • by Jean Location: Boston MA on Nov 8, 2010 at 08:29 AM
    George Bush as President faced some of the worst disasters in America's history and dealth with them the best he could given the staff he had around him
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