Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld took a shot at George H.W. Bush’s age on Thursday after being asked in an MSNBC interview whether he was surprised that the 92-year-old former president was supporting Hillary Clinton in November.
MSNBC: Are you surprised?
Rumsfeld : Oh, he’s up in years.
MSNBC: So are you.
Rumsfeld: But he’s up in years, and he obviously comes from a totally different cut than Donald Trump. He gets his choice and if that’s true, he’s made his choice, then that’s fine, he can go do what he wants to do.
It’s not the first time the 84-year-old Rumsfeld, who served under George W. Bush, swiped at the elder Bush by invoking his age. After George H.W. Bush called Rumsfeld an “arrogant fellow” who served his son “badly” in a biography last year, the former secretary of defense told NBC News the elder Bush was “getting up in years and misjudges Bush 43, who I found made his own decisions.”
Rumsfeld endorsed GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump earlier this year, calling him a “known unknown,” a famous phrase he used in 2002 in response to a question about the lack of evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Asked in the MSNBC interview whether he believed Trump was truthful, Rumsfeld applied the same logic in a comparison with Clinton.
“I think truthfulness and believability,” he said, before taking a long pause. “Truthfulness is important. I think he’s not untruthful. And I think she is.”
Earlier this week, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway also conveniently snuck in a reference to the elder Bush’s age when asked to respond to his choice for president.
“Well, I respect the 92-year old former president very much and his decision,” she said on CNN, “and I think that Americans are very grateful to the Bush family for their public service, that’s his right.”
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.