George W. Bush and Matt Lauer

Former President George W. Bush recently sat down with Matt Lauer on NBC Today. The conversation quickly turned into an onslaught of attempts by Lauer to get Bush to slam President Trump. It did not turn out that way and Bush flipped the script in a genius way.

Lauer began with:

“You took office in 2001 after an extremely contentious election, controversial end to that, the Supreme Court decided it, the nation was incredibly divided. How would you compare the divisions we faced then to what we’re living through right now?”

After Bush pointed out that the nation has been divided before in its history, Lauer proceeded to blame Trump for the present-day condition: “But there’s enormous division right now. And although President Trump has said he hopes to unify the country, have you, in the first month, seen him do or say anything that, in your opinion, would be an attempt to heal the wounds of the election?”

That’s when Bush saw his opening and took it. He responded with:

“Well, first of all, there’s only been one month in office. And so it’s a – you know, he’s got four years. Secondly, I think you have to take the man for his word that he wants to unify the country and we’ll see whether he’s able to do so.” He then observed that increased media competition and fragmentation contributed to the problem:

“It’s hard to unify the country, though, with the news media being so split up. When I was president, you know, you mattered a lot more because there was like three of you and now there’s all kinds of information being bombarded out and people can say things anonymously. It’s just a different world.”

And the look on Lauer’s face is priceless.

This interview took place in February, but it never gets old, and it’s more relevant today with the ongoing debate over fake news.