In his book, “Decision Points,” Bush wrote that it was a low point in his presidency when West declared at a fundraiser to benefit Hurricane Katrina victims that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”
In an interview taped Tuesday with NBC’s Matt Lauer, West said he would tell Bush that he was speaking in a moment of frustration.
“I didn’t have the grounds to call him a racist,” West said. “I believe that in a situation of high emotion like that we as human beings don’t always choose the right words.”
Shown a tape of West’s remarks, Bush said he appreciated them and forgave him.
“I’m not a hater,” he 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.”