HOUSTON — A brand-new USA TODAY report on the forthcoming Barbara Bush biography says the former first lady blamed President Donald Trump for her “heart attack.”
In an excerpt from historian Susan Page's upcoming book, “Bush” detailed the medical emergency in 2016 during the presidential race and how Trump's attacks against her son Jeb Bush upset her.
The former first lady did not actually suffer a heart attack, but she did battle congestive heart failure and chronic pulmonary disease. She passed away in April 2018.
Page, the Washington Bureau chief of USA TODAY, say she spent hours interviewing the former first lady during the final six months of Bush's life.
The former first lady told Page around the time of first anniversary of Trump’s election, “I'm trying not to think about it (Trump’s presidency). We're a strong country, and I think it will all work out.”
She added she was dismayed by the nation’s divisions and the direction of the Republican Party.
Four months later, Page asked the former first lady if she still considered herself a Republican.
In February 2018, the first lady said, "I'd probably say no today."