Former President George W. Bush billed a charity for wounded military veterans $100,000 in speaking fees three years ago, a new report says.
Bush charged Texas-based Helping a Hero that amount in 2012, according to ABC News.
The organization also provided Bush with private jet travel to Houston at a cost of $20,000.
Laura Bush, the former president’s wife, additionally pocketed $50,000 after appearing for the group in 2011, ABC reported.
Helping a Hero fundraises for homes that are specifically adapted for military veterans with lost limbs and other severe injuries, it said.
The group specifically helps those who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Helping a Hero told ABC the $170,000 in total costs were worth it because the Bushes helped the group raise record funds in 2011 and 2012.
“It was great because [Bush] reduced his normal fee of $250,000 down to $100,000,” said Meredith Iler, the charity’s former chairwoman.
Former Marine Eddie Wright, a former member of Helping a Hero’s board, criticized the former first family on Wednesday.
“For him to be paid to raise money for veterans that were wounded in combat under his orders, I don’t think that’s right,” Wright said.
“You sent me to war,” he said. “I was doing what you told me to do, gladly for you and our country and I have no regrets.”
“But it is kind of a slap in the face,” added Wright, who lost both of his hands during a rocket attack in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004.
Bush’s legacy has emerged as an issue on the 2016 campaign trail for his younger brother.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has wrestled with his sibling’s presidential record while seeking the GOP’s nomination. He has particularly struggled with questions on George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Jeb Bush initially supported his brother’s military campaign in May.
He later reversed course and said he would not have launched a ground invasion of Iraq with prior knowledge of the outcome there.
“I would not have engaged, I would not have gone into Iraq,” he said on May 14.
— This story was updated at 6:23 p.m.