barbara bush
In a new biography by Susan Page, former first lady Barbara Bush blamed Donald Trump for a heart attack she had in June 2016, and also for her decision to leave the Republican Party. This image shows Bush during the 2017 World Series at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas, Oct. 29, 2017. David J. Phillip - Pool/Getty Images

Former first lady Barbara Bush blamed President Donald Trump for the heart attack she had in June 2016.

In an interview with Susan Page, author of "The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty," — a soon-to-be-released biography on the former first lady — Bush said it was the crisis in her battle with congestive heart failure and chronic pulmonary disease that hit her like a “sledgehammer” in June 2016. The presidential campaign was rough and the ridicule of her son Jeb Bush by Trump particularly “riled” her.

Excerpts from the interview were published in USA Today on Wednesday.

When she was asked about her thoughts on how things were in the country under Trump, she said she was trying not to think about it.

“We’re a strong country, and I think it will all work out,” she said. However, she said she was disappointed at the nation’s division and the direction of the party she worked for and on for so long. In an interview with the author in October 2017, she said she still considered herself a Republican. However, she seemed to have changed her stance in February 2018, saying she would probably not identify as one any more.

The acknowledgement was a shock to a lot of people since she had been one of the most popular faces of the Republican Party through two presidential reigns. She was the matriarch of one of the party’s leading families. Although, after Trump’s win, she said she saw the party as one she could no longer recognize and couldn’t continue supporting.

She was reluctant to let Jeb run in 2016 since she knew how brutal the presidential campaigns and the presidency could potentially be. Her husband, former President George H.W. Bush, lost the election for his second term while her eldest son left the White House after heavy criticism for the war in Iraq. She warned Jeb he might “inherit all their baggage and enemies.” According to the author, Bush sensed a “dyspeptic mood in the country, a weariness with the political establishment that would disrupt his path.”

However, she did campaign for him since he was in trouble and sought her help. He was struggling for grip in New Hampshire after having lost in Iowa. She said she agreed since she would do “just about anything for her family” but also because she was shocked by Trump and his campaign.

During his campaign, Trump took to Twitter to ridicule Jeb for having his mother in his campaign. “Just watched Jeb’s ad where he desperately needed mommy to help him. Jeb—mom cannot help you with the ISIS, the Chinese or with Putin,” he tweeted.

On the morning after the election, when Trump won, Bush wrote in her diary about Trump: “He said that George was a great president and he admired us both. He said Jeb was strong and a great man. He is trying… at this moment… to be conciliatory. He says he wants to represent all the people.”

She also wrote a letter to Melania Trump and urged her to do whatever was best for her and to protect her son, Barron. She said she knew that the White House could be a lonely place, especially for a child.

“I woke up and discovered, to my horror, that Trump had won,” she said in the interview.