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George Bush resists Jimmy Kimmel’s prodding to trash-talk Trump, but he didn’t exactly give him props

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Former President George W. Bush steered clear of Jimmy Kimmel’s attempts to get him to slam President Donald Trump, though he did find many of his jabs very funny.

Bush revealed during Thursday’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” that he didn’t get angry over how his younger brother Jeb was treated by then-candidate Trump during the presidential campaign.

“If a guy was saying things about my little brother, I’d want to kill him,” Kimmel said. “Did you ever get angry, have that kind of reaction?”

Bush simply replied, “No,” and laughed when Kimmel jokingly asked if he didn’t care about his brother.

He explained that the behavior goes with the territory of the campaign, adding that he was “used to all that.”

Kimmel made several attempts in the interview to lead the 43rd president into roasting Trump, but Bush deftly avoided mentioning the current president by name or chiding him directly for any of his actions.

Without being specific, Bush did praise Kimmel’s anti-Trump monologue at the Academy Awards.

“I saw your opening. I thought it was damn good,”he said.

Bush admitted that he has not seen Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of President Trump on “Saturday Night Live,” but said he had enjoyed the imitations of himself on the show.

“Did that ever bother you? Any of these guys imitating you?” Kimmel asked.

“No, not at all,” Bush easily responded. “I love humor, and the best humor is when you make fun of yourself.”

“Tell that to the president,” Kimmel shot back, making Bush laugh.

Kimmel attempted to direct the conversation to Trump again, asking Bush if he was jealous of the crowd size at Trump’s inauguration.

Bush responded with a hearty laugh but, again, resisted speaking about the president or poking fun at his claim that the crowd was record-breaking.  He did, however, turn the joke back on himself.

“I was there. I was the guy trying to put the poncho on!” he laughed, referring to his attempt to take cover during the outdoor event as it began to rain.

Bush shared anecdotes about his time in office and diplomatically never mentioned Trump by name each time Kimmel tried to lead him in the roast.

Alluding to Trump’s penchant for watching television, Bush revealed that he didn’t ever watch television during his time in office.

“You’re pretty busy,” he said, adding that he would intentionally block off an hour to exercise each day as there was little personal free time.

He thanked Kimmel for asking about his parents, former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara, who were unable to attend Trump’s inauguration as they were in the hospital.

“I can’t help but feel maybe he was faking it a little just so he didn’t have to go to the inauguration,” Kimmel said.

And while Bush had a mischievous laugh at the line, he only said Kimmel was a “funny man” after his prolonged laughter.

Bush rounded out his appearance talking about his recently-published book, “Portraits of Courage: A commander in chief’s tribute to America’s warriors.” The book features images of oil paintings of military veterans who were wounded during wars launched while Bush was in office.

The book is the latest from the 70 year-old former president who also wrote a memoir and a book about his father.

“I wrote these books that surprised a lot of people,” he joked,  “particularly on the coasts, they didn’t think I could read.”

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Frieda Powers

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