The brutal comments came after Bush gave a speech that was widely interpreted as a condemnation of Trumpism.
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Former top Trump aide Steve Bannon on Friday 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.
But Bannon said the former Republican president had “embarrassed himself” and that “the speechwriter wrote a highfalutin speech.”
He also disparaged Bush's intelligence, saying “it's clear he didn’t understand anything he was talking about.”
“He has no earthly idea whether he’s coming or going, just like it was when he was president of the United States,” said Bannon.
Bannon's speech was met with a mix of reactions, according to CNN. Some people reportedly booed when Bush's name was mentioned, some clapped and hollered support, and others stayed silent.
Seth Wenig / AP
Bush's speech was careful not to mention Trump by name, but attacked nationalism, protectionism, and white supremacy.
“Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication,” Bush said in his speech.
“We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism – forgotten the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America,” he said.
To a round of applause, Bush stated that “bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed.”
“Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry,” he said.