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George W. Bush on "poncho" incident, response to inauguration

Former President George W. Bush says he can’t remember if he said “that was some weird s***” after President Trump’s inauguration speech in January.

He was asked about the alleged remark in an interview that aired on NPR’s “Morning Edition” Thursday. New York Magazine reported last month that Bush had made the comment, citing three people who were also present at the ceremony.

George W. Bush struggles with his poncho at Trump's inauguration

“If I said it, I don’t remember it,” Bush said in an interview on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” adding that the inauguration is a “beautiful experience” because it’s the peaceful transition of power.

He does, however, clearly remember his awkward response to rain that day.

“I wish I got the rain poncho on a little more cleanly,” Bush joked, referring to his struggle to put on a transparent poncho during the ceremony as it began to rain. “My daughters were aghast. ‘Dad, you’re a national tweet sensation. You’re trending,’ or whatever the words are. I said, ‘I don’t know what the heck that means.’ But then I saw the pictures and I can see why I was trending.”

Asked again if he made the “weird s***” comment, Bush said, “I just don’t remember, David. I really don’t.”

The former president also discussed the debate over immigration reform and he said that he think the plan he outlined during his administration that would have provided a path to citizenship will eventually be implemented in some form.

“Let’s discuss the issue of people here illegally. What are the options? Do nothing? I think that option’s been bypassed because of the election -- people talked about it a lot. Secondly, legalize everybody and that option simply won’t work. Then what do you do? My judgment is there needs to be a way for somebody to be able to get in line to become a citizen so long as they met certain criteria.”

Bush said on the idea of building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, “Well, I built a wall...It’s not going to be a brick wall all the way across Mexico.”

Rebecca Shabad
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Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.

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