Former first daughter Jenna Bush Hager explained Thursday on TODAY with Hoda and Jenna just what was going through her head as a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
“What was so hard for so many of us who have grieving hearts is these images are not our America. This is not the America that you know. This is not the America that I know,” said Hager, the daughter of former President George W. Bush and granddaughter of late President George H.W. Bush. “It is not the America we want our kids to know. So that was hard.”
Hager, whose grandfather was already vice president when she was born, has deeply personal memories of the venue. She was in college when her dad began serving in the “highest office in the land.”
“I have had the privilege of standing on those steps, in several inaugurations, not just for family members, but for the first Black president of the United States of America, when I was a teacher, in inner-city D.C., and that meant so much to so many,” Hager said. “I kissed my grandfather goodbye in that rotunda [in Dec. 2018]. I have felt the majesty of our country in those walls and nobody can take that from any of us.”
Still, Hager said she has hope.
“So I think part of what hurts, and I heard from a friend that’s a writer, is that we feel like we’re helpless maybe in this moment but we’re not because the casual cruelty from the internet and words that do not reflect our country,” she said. “We can stop that. We can share kindness, and smiles, and love, and we can take back what is our country that we all love so very, very much. And you know, I just — I have optimism.”
Hager’s father condemned the violence as soon as it happened, noting that he was “appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election.” While the former president didn’t name any names, he said the mob was a group of people “whose passions have been inflamed by falsehoods and false hopes.”
Statement by President George W. Bush on Insurrection at the Capitol pic.twitter.com/rF77j0fIBK
— George W. Bush Presidential Center (@TheBushCenter) January 6, 2021
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