Did George W. Bush Describe President Trump’s Inauguration as ‘Some Weird Sh*t’?

According to reports, three unnamed witnesses heard Bush refer to the 45th president's inauguration using the phrase.

  • Published 31 March 2017

On 29 March 2017, New York magazine published a story by investigative reporter Yashar Ali that cited three people who independently said they overheard former President George W. Bush walk away from 45th President Donald Trump’s 20 January 2017 inauguration ceremony, saying, “That was some weird shit”:

Bush’s endearing struggle with his poncho at the event quickly became a meme, prompting many Democrats on social media to admit that they already pined for the relative normalcy of his administration. Following Trump’s short and dire speech, Bush departed the scene and never offered public comment on the ceremony.

But, according to three people who were present, Bush gave a brief assessment of Trump’s inaugural after leaving the dais: “That was some weird shit.” All three heard him say it.

A spokesman for Bush declined to comment.

We have not received a response from Bush’s spokesman confirming or denying he made the comment, but Ali told us that he was tipped off by a source who overheard Bush’s offhand observation. Ali then called two other sources who he knew would have been there. Both independently confirmed they heard Bush say the phrase.

Ali told us:

The three sources were present and heard him say it. It was compacted and there were so many people on the dais, but if you’re leaving and walking back into the Capitol, there are a ton of people in the hallway, many of whom he knew.

Ali said he and his editors held off on the story for two months because “every day in this administration is so filled with news” and it was a relatively small news item; he was a bit taken aback by how much attention the quote has received. He said that he thought an investigative report he wrote about allegations that Trump’s deputy National Security Advisor K.T. McFarland misused campaign funds was a more important story.

But Bush’s alleged comments appeared to have captured the zeitgeist of the moment, with some posting on social media that if he had indeed made the comment, it captured their own sentiments:

Snopes.com
Since 1994
A Word to Our Loyal Readers

Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.

Editorial
  • David Mikkelson
  • Doreen Marchionni
  • David Emery
  • Bond Huberman
  • Jordan Liles
  • Alex Kasprak
  • Dan Evon
  • Dan MacGuill
  • Bethania Palma
  • Liz Donaldson
Operations
  • Vinny Green
  • Ryan Miller
  • Chris Reilly
  • Chad Ort
  • Elyssa Young

Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.

We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.

Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.

Team Snopes