(Fox News)

Jeb Bush follows Fox News' advice: He blames Bill Clinton, not Dubya, for 9/11

The fading former frontrunner's remarks come amid Donald Trump's attacks on George W. Bush's terror record


Sophia Tesfaye
October 20, 2015 10:40PM (UTC)

After Brian Kilmeade failed to convince Donald Trump to assign blame for 9/11 away from George W. Bush and towards Bill Clinton, his Fox News colleague, Sean Hannity, found success convincing Jeb Bush to do it.

Hannity, a long time defender of George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq following 9/11, managed to avoid taking sides in the ongoing feud between Trump and Jeb over the former president's record on national security during his interview with Jeb on Monday night's edition of "Hannity," but he did tee up an opportunity for Jeb to knock a different administration for the attack.

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Hannity played a recording of former president Bill Clinton revealing that in 1996 he did not capture Osama bin Laden because he had not yet committed any crimes against Americans.

"If Bill Clinton knew he wanted to commit crimes against America and was offered him and he didn't take him, isn't that in and of itself a legal basis to take the guy," Hannity asked Jeb, before adding, "I mean, if we're going to really delve into this issue."

Jeb, flailing for support after days of withering attacks from Trump and clearly exhausted from his continued weak-kneed defense of his brother, was all too happy to take the assist.

"I think the Clinton administration made a mistake of thinking bin Laden had to be viewed from a law enforcement perspective," he said in agreement.

On Monday, when "Fox & Friends" host Brian Kilmeade offered Jeb's rival Donald Trump a convenient off-ramp from the escalating Republican-on-Republican assault he began last week, the billionaire mogul rejected the deal in favor of continuing to hammer the Bush brothers.

“You might be madder, Donald Trump … at Bill Clinton for not taking a legitimate shot at somebody who declared war on us in the ’90s,” Kilmeade offered.

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“If you look at it, Jeb during the debate, said ‘my brother kept us safe,’ and I said to myself I didn’t want to embarrass him that night, but I said to myself, well wait a minute, he kept us safe? We lost the World Trade Center on Sept. 11,” Trump responded, rejecting the offer.

Watch Jeb bite on the Fox News bait that even Donald Trump passed on, via Fox News:


Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's Deputy Politics Editor and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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