It's not clear if one of Donald Trump's former rivals knew what he was getting into when he fired a couple zingers at the president on Tuesday. During a talk at Yale University, the former Florida governor joked that he goes home every day to children "who actually love me" — unlike Trump, he implied. The barb seemed to have sparked what could be the beginning of a fresh feud between Jeb Bush, Eric Trump, and Donald Jr. Bush also joked that he wasn't going to talk about the 2016 election because he's "still in therapy."
A day after Bush's speaking event, Eric, the second son of President Trump, hit back on Twitter:
.@JebBush I actually love my father very much. #PleaseClap
A handful of Trump fans were delighted with Eric's hashtag shade and have latched on to #PleaseClap to tweet their fervent support for the Trump family. The hashtag refers to a cringeworthy moment in 2016 during the Republican presidential primary race when Trump and Bush were once rivals. Candidate Bush gave what he thought was a rousing speech at a campaign event in New Hampshire, but had to tell his unenthusiastic supporters to "please clap." Bush would end up bowing out of the Republican primary not long afterward. His awkward request for applause still lives on as a meme.
Then, later on in the night, Donald Jr. hit back at Bush with a tweet of his own, reminding him that he's not president. The jabs, as it seems, just got more and more vicious. In fact, Donald Jr. took it way further than his brother did by claiming Trump "dismantled" Bush "piece by piece."
Bush was at Yale to give a lecture titled "A Conversation with Jeb Bush: Restoring Conservatism in America." The ex-Florida governor — who comes from the same political dynasty as former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush — spoke about about what it means to be a young conservative and how to rejuvenate the conservative movement in America. He focused on "the need for an embrace of bottom-up economics, a return to belief in fiscal responsibility, economically efficient immigration reform, and limited government," the Yale Daily News reported. Bush also emphasized that conservatives should not be nostalgic about the past, at least not in a competitive world of rapidly advancing technology and globalization.
Though Eric and Don Jr. haven't interacted much in the past with Bush, their father certainly has. During one debate, for example, Trump went after Bush by attacking his brother's decision to go to war in Iraq after 9/11. "The World Trade Center came down during the reign of George Bush," Trump hurled at a February 2016 primary debate. "He kept us safe? That is not safe?"
And in May 2017 during Trump's first year of presidency, Bush delivered an "I told you so" at a conference in Las Vegas about Trump's reign thus far. "When I ran for office, I said he is a chaos candidate and would be a chaos president," Bush told his audience. "Unfortunately, so far chaos organizes the presidency right now."
Bush suggested that the Trump administration did not have a clear agenda and was instead "living in the tyranny of the moment," reported CNN's Matt Egan from Las Vegas. The former Florida governor also warned that Trump needed to stop his unfiltered tweeting because his off-the-fly remarks could expose critical insider information to other countries.
The adversarial relationship between Bush and Trump seems to have stopped short at Bush's children though. Don Jr., in fact, actually endorsed Bush's son George P. Bush in his reelection campaign for Texas land commissioner. In response, George P. tweeted his support for Trump's conservative agenda.
George P. hopped on the "Make America Great Again" train after his father's failed campaign in 2016 presidential primaries. "From Team Bush, it's a bitter pill to swallow," he said in August 2016, according to The Weekly Standard. "But you know what? You get back up and you help the man that won, and you make sure that we stop Hillary Clinton."
It looks like at least one member of the Bush family seems to be OK with the Trumps.