"I just thought that guy was a dimwit," Trump said of Bush in 2009 on Imus.
"I voted for Bush because I think he's got certain things that are excellent," Trump said in 2005.
In a 2009 radio interview with Don Imus uncovered by CNN’s KFile, Donald Trump claimed he did not vote for President George W. Bush. Four years earlier, in an interview on Fox News following the 2004 presidential election, Trump said the exact opposite: that he did vote Bush despite his opposition to the Iraq War.
As recently as January of this year, Trump said he voted for Bush in both the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections.
Speaking with Imus in February 2009, Trump said, “You know how I feel about Bush, and I think you got to feel that way, also.”
“I never voted for him,” responded Imus. “I never voted for him, Donald.”
“You’re good, then. I didn’t either, by the way,” Trump said, “You’re good. I just thought that guy was a dimwit. You looked at it, and he just didn’t look like he was all there.”
“You could ring that doorbell, and nobody was going to answer that door,” says Imus.
“You look at his eyes, I mean he’d make a speech and you’d look at him and you’d say, ‘Does he even know what he’s reading?’ This guy, he was a horrible president,” said Trump.
Trump’s answer on Imus is a direct contradiction to what he told Bill O’Reilly in January 2005, the day before then-president Bush was to be inaugurated for his second term.
“All right. You didn’t vote for Bush, did you?,” O’Reilly asked Trump.
“Actually, I did,” said Trump.
“Did you really? You were bad-mouthing him,” interjected O’Reilly.
“No, I wasn’t,” Trump responded. “I was bad-mouthing the war in Iraq. I’m not a big fan of the war in Iraq.
“So you voted for Bush,” O’Reilly said.
“I voted for Bush because I think he’s got certain things that are excellent, including a tax policy that’s excellent and going to prove to be excellent,” Trump said. “But I am not a big fan of the war in Iraq, and I’ve let a lot of people know about it, and perhaps that’s being proven to be correct.”
In a January 2016 interview, also with O’Reilly, Trump was asked if he voted for Bush twice.
“I did vote for Bush twice, yes,” Trump said. “I don’t think he did a particularly good job. I think he got us into Iraq which was a disaster. But I voted for Bush, yes.”
In Bush’s first term and into his early second term, Trump repeatedly praised the president while still being critical of the Iraq War. In a 2007 biography of Trump, now-deceased author Robert Slater also says Trump supported Bush in 2004. The biography was written with access to Trump and is sold at Trump Tower in New York.
A spokesperson for the Trump campaign did not return a request for comment on whether Trump voted for Bush or why he gave different answers to the question at different times.