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President Bush Calls Kanye's Katrina Outburst 'Disgusting'
In an interview with Matt Lauer set to run on Monday, President George W. Bush responds to Kanye West's claim that "George Bush doesn't care about black people" that resulted from the President's handling of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
According to an excerpt of the interview posted by Entertainment Weekly, Bush says that the outburst was a "disgusting moment, pure and simple," that ranks among the worst in his eight-year presidency.
"He called me a racist," Bush tells Lauer. "And I didn't appreciate it then. I don't appreciate it now. It's one thing to say, 'I don't appreciate the way he's handled his business.' It's another thing to say, 'This man's a racist.' I resent it, it's not true."
President Bush participated in the interview, which will air on NBC's "Matt Lauer Reports" on Nov. 8 at 8 P.M. EST, to promote his new book, "Decision Points," set for release a day later. During the interview, Lauer reads an excerpt of the memoir in which Bush writes, "I faced a lot of criticism as president... But the suggestion that I was racist because of the response to Katrina represented an all-time low."
When asked by Lauer if Bush "told Laura at the time it was the worst moment of your presidency," Bush responds, "Yes. My record was strong, I felt, when it came to race relations and giving people a chance. And it was a disgusting moment."
West's outburst, which aired during "A Concert for Hurricane Relief" on Sept. 2, 2005, was part of the rapper's response to the Bush administration's actions during the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe in Louisiana. "Those are my people down there... they've given them permission to go down and shoot us," the rapper also stated.
President Bush is not the first U.S. president to respond negatively to West's behavior: President Obama allegedly called him a "jackass" after the rapper interrupted Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV VMAs.