Barbara Bush blamed President TrumpDonald TrumpIran's leader vows 'revenge,' posting an image resembling Trump Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Justice Dept. to probe sudden departure of US attorney in Atlanta after Trump criticism MORE for what she called her “heart attack” in 2016, according to an excerpt from an upcoming book on the former first lady, "The Matriarch."

"Barbara Bush blamed Donald Trump for her heart attack," Susan Page, the Washington bureau chief for USA Today, wrote in an excerpt from the new book released on Wednesday.


"It wasn't technically a heart attack, though she called it that,” Page, who spent hours interviewing Bush in the final six months of her life, continued. “It was a crisis in her long battle with congestive heart failure and chronic pulmonary disease that hit her like a sledgehammer one day in June 2016,” when Trump secured the Republican presidential nomination after repeatedly ridiculing her son Jeb Bush, who was also running.

Page said an ambulance was called to take the former first lady to the hospital at the time.

“The tumultuous presidential campaign in general and Trump’s ridicule of son Jeb Bush in particular had riled her,” Page wrote. " ‘Angst,’ she told me.”

By 2018, when Page asked Bush in February if she still considered herself a Republican, the former first lady had said: "I'd probably say no today." 

Page said it “was a stunning acknowledgment” from “one of the most recognizable faces of the Republican Party through two presidencies” months before the former first lady’s death.

“She was the matriarch of one of the GOP’s leading families,” Page wrote. “But after Trump’s rise, she saw it as a party she could not continue to support, a party she no longer recognized — even as one of her grandsons, George P. Bush, was on the ballot as a Republican running for re-election as Texas land commissioner.”

In an interview amid the first anniversary of Trump's election approached, Page asked Bush how she felt things were going in the United States.

"I'm trying not to think about it," Bush said at the time, according to Page. "We're a strong country, and I think it will all work out.”

Still, Page, who was also given access to Bush’s personal diaries spanning back decades, writes that the former first lady’s negative opinion of Trump dates back long before his election victory in 2016.  

“The Trumps are a new word, both of them,” Bush said in her diary in 1990, according to Page. “Trump now means Greed, selfishness and ugly. So sad.”

“I don’t understand why people are for him,” Bush said of Trump in an interview years later.

“I could not vote for Trump or [Democratic nominee Hillary] Clinton,” she would later write in her diary, according to Page.