The 2016 election sparked tensions between Donald Trump and the Bush family, starting when Trump and former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) battled for the Republican presidential nomination. Those tensions have flared up again with recent public criticisms of Trump’s immigration policy by several of the Bushes, leading Donald J. Trump Jr. to cancel a scheduled appearance at an upcoming fundraiser for George P. Bush.
The latest controversy relates to the separations of illegal immigrant families who have been detained by federal authorities. Media coverage of crying children being kept apart from their parents has dominated the headlines for days, and a growing number of Republicans — even some viewed as generally conservative on immigration — have publicly criticized the Trump administration’s approach to the issue.
Among the most visible critics were former First Lady Laura Bush, who wrote an emotional appeal for the White House to change the policy in a widely-read Washington Post op-ed, and Jeb Bush, who tweeted that “[c]hildren shouldn’t be used as a negotiating tool,” calling on Trump to end “this heartless policy.”
Trump Jr. was originally set to headline a fundraiser in New York City for George P. Bush, who is running for re-election as Texas’ General Land Office Commissioner, a statewide office that oversees several veterans’ programs, manages the state mineral and land rights, and is coordinating hurricane recovery efforts with the federal government.
The Austin American Statesman reported that the fundraiser was originally scheduled for June 25th, and had “a suggested contribution of $5,000 for admittance to a private reception and $1,000 for admittance to a general reception,” along with a “young professional” rate of $250. The New York GOP had the invitation prominently on their website, but it’s since been taken down.
— Austin Statesman (@statesman) June 19, 2018
Axios has more details about the dispute that led to Trump Jr.’s cancellation, citing “two sources close to Don Jr.” who pointed to the recent criticisms of Trump by George P. Bush’s father, Jeb Bush, and aunt, Laura Bush, as the direct cause, citing Jeb’s tweet as “the final straw in what he sees as repeated attacks from the Bush family.”
“Don likes George P. and that canceling the event isn’t personal,” according to Axios‘ sources, but Trump Jr. was not willing to help him any longer if his father continued to attack the president, viewing George P. Bush as “collateral damage” to the feud.
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