July 28, 2011 3:11pm PT by Marisa Guthrie
George W. Bush Recalls His First Reaction to the 9/11 Attacks (Video)
President George W. Bush recalls the morning of Sept 11, 2001 in National Geographic Channel’s George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview. The interview took place two days after the killing of Osama bin Laden and includes the president’s first public interview about the Navy Seal’s mission to take out the 9/11 mastermind. In the clip, Bush recounts his first reaction to the news that a plane had hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
“First I thought it was a light aircraft and my reaction was, man either the weather was bad or something extraordinary happened to the pilot. And then I walked into the classroom,” says Bush referring to a scheduled visit at a Florida elementary school. “The classroom was full of kids who were reading. And in the back of the class room was a full press corps … and I felt a presence behind me and [chief of staff] Andy Carr’s Massachusetts accent was whispering in my ear, ‘A second plane has hit the second tower. America is under attack.’
“My first reaction was anger,” Bush continues. “Who the hell would do that to America?! And then I thought of the children.”
Bush stayed at the school for several minutes, holding a brief press conference about the attacks before the Secret Service whisked him away.
“I didn’t linger much in the classroom after I’d given my statement because the secret service was anxious to get me on the move,” he says.
The interview premieres Aug. 28 and is the keystone of a week of 9/11-themed programming.