Donald Trump is not backing down from assertions that the United States was not as “safe” under President George W. Bush as the former president’s brother and GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush would have voters believe.
Trump avoided talk of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, during an Oct.19 rally in South Carolina, but he appeared the next morning on CNN’s “New Day” to, again, attack the track record of the George W. Bush administration, Yahoo Politics reports.
“If you look at what happened, No. 1, I would’ve had a stronger immigration policy,” Trump told “New Day” host Alisyn Camerota, speaking of the 9/11 attacks. “I’m not saying I would’ve prevented them, but I would’ve had a chance because I’m pretty good at this stuff.”
He also told Camerota the attacks were able to be carried out because of dysfunction and lack of communication among intelligence agencies.
“They knew an attack was coming,” Trump said. “George Tenet, the CIA director, knew in advance that there would be an attack, and he said so to the president and said so to everybody else that would listen. And that came out.”
Another problem, Trump believes, was that FBI, the National Safety Council and the CIA were not communication with one another.
“These are the three main agencies, they weren’t talking to each other," he said. "And they weren’t talking because they didn’t like each other. They had a lot of problems getting along, and that’s leadership. You know, you have to get your three main agencies to talk to each other.”
Trump’s latest series of attacks on the George W. Bush administration have continued for nearly a week.
The GOP front-runner appeared on “Fox News Sunday” on Oct. 18 and made nearly the same assertions about his immigration policies and their ability to keep potential terrorists out of the country.
“I am extremely, extremely tough on illegal immigration,” Trump said at that time. “I believe that if I were running things … I doubt that those people would have been in the country.”
These comments by the billionaire real estate developer were in response to the Oct. 16 remarks he made while speaking with Bloomberg News.
“Blame him or don’t blame him, but [George W. Bush] was president,” Trump said in that interview, according to Fox. “The World Trade Center came down during his reign.”
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush fired back on Twitter the same day Trump made the comments to Bloomberg.
“How pathetic for @realdonaldtrump to criticize the president for 9/11,” he tweeted. “We were attacked & my brother kept us safe.”