George W. Bush: 'I Don't Hate Kanye West'
Former President George W. Bush said Wednesday that he doesn't "hate" Kanye West, a day after the rapper said he shouldn't have called the former president a racist on live TV during a Hurricane Katrina fundraiser.
In a pre-taped interview with Today's Matt Lauer that aired Tuesday, West said he regretted his words, which Bush recently said marked the worst moment of his presidency.
"I would tell George Bush in my moment of frustration, I didn't have the grounds to call him a racist," he told Lauer on Tuesday, as picked up by the Huffington Post. "I believe that in a situation of high emotion like that we as human beings don't always choose the right words."
West's comments echoed remarks he made during a radio interview last week, when the rapper said he "can understand the way" that Bush feels about being labeled a racist. West said he faced the same criticism after interrupting Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at MTV's Video Music Awards last year.
Bush reacted to West's apology Wednesday in a live interview on Today, saying he "appreciated" the sentiment [watch the video below].
"I'm not a hater," Bush said. "I don't hate Kanye West. I was talking about an environment in which people were willing to say things that hurt. Nobody wants to be called a racist if in your heart you believe in equality of races."
Meanwhile, West has started a new feud with Lauer as a result of Tuesday's interview. After it aired, the rapper tweeted that he was upset that footage the show's producers played footage of his VMAs disruption.
"HE TRIED TO FORCE MY ANSWERS," one of West's tweet read. "IT WAS VERY BRUTAL AND I CAME THERE WITH ONLY POSITIVE INTENT."
And then: "I went up there to express how I was empathetic to Bush because I labeled him a racist and years later I got labeled as a racist...."