George W. Bush Donated to Nephew's Campaign and 2 Leading Trump Critics Last Year

As to whether President Bush's contributions were motivated by Trump, his spokesman says wryly: "Trump isn't running for House or Senate, I don't think"

Former U.S. President George W. Bush
George W. Bush. Photo: Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

Former President George W. Bush made several campaign donations in 2021 — according to his spokesman and finance records released Monday — and some of them went to notable Republicans who voted in favor of removing Donald Trump.

Bush, who has a long history of donating to Republican candidates through the years, gave a maximum individual contribution of $5,800 to Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney — the daughter of Bush's vice president, Dick Cheney, and one of the loudest voices among the minority of anti-Trump Republicans — in October, according to FEC filings reported on by Politico.

Another donation, for $2,900, went to Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski. She, like Cheney, voted against Trump in the wake of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots.

Cheney voted to impeach Trump in the House of Representatives; Murkowski voted to convict at Trump's Senate trial, along with six other Republicans. Trump was acquitted.

Both Cheney and Murkowski are up for re-election and face Republican challengers, some of whom Trump himself has endorsed.

A spokesman for Bush tells PEOPLE he also donated to Glenn Youngkin, the newly elected governor of Virginia, and nephew George P. Bush, who is running to be Texas' attorney general. (The spokesman said he did not have additional details on hand about those contributions.)

Unlike Cheney and Murkowski, Youngkin and the younger Bush are more aligned with former President Trump.

As to whether President Bush's contributions were motivated by Trump, his spokesman notes, wryly: "Trump isn't running for House or Senate, I don't think."

Lisa Murkowski
Lisa Murkowski. Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/Bloomberg via Getty Images

While former President Bush has largely held back from talking politics since leaving office in 2009, he strongly condemned the violence and unrest of the Capitol riots last year, when Trump supporters stormed the building, interrupting the certification of Joe Biden's election win.

In a statement provided to PEOPLE as the riots unfolded, Bush said, "Laura and I are watching the scenes of mayhem unfolding at the seat of our Nation's government in disbelief and dismay. It is a sickening and heartbreaking sight. This is how election results are disputed in a banana republic — not our democratic republic."

Continued the former president, "I am appalled by the reckless behavior of some political leaders since the election and by the lack of respect shown today for our institutions, our traditions, and our law enforcement."

Following the riots, Murkowski became the first GOP lawmaker to call for Trump to step down, saying in an interview with the Anchorage Daily News, "I want him to resign. I want him out. He has caused enough damage."

"I think he should leave. He said he's not going to show up. He's not going to appear at the inauguration. He hasn't been focused on what is going on with COVID. He's either been golfing or he's been inside the Oval Office fuming and throwing every single person who has been loyal and faithful to him under the bus, starting with the vice president," she continued.

Liz Cheney
Rep. Liz Cheney. Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty

Cheney has been vocally critical of Trump's behavior around the riots, even after her own party ousted her from a House leadership role after her vote to impeach the former president.

She had been the No. 3 Republican in the House and was only one of 10 Republicans who voted in favor of a second impeachment for Trump in the final days of his presidency, in response to his conduct around the insurrection. He has denied wrongdoing but praised the rioters while they were at the Capitol while also urging them to leave.

"If we minimize what happened on Jan. 6 and if we appease it, then we will be in a situation where every election cycle, you could potentially have another constitutional crisis," Cheney has said.

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Cheney — who was also censured by the Republican party in her home state in a largely symbolic move last year — is now one of two Republican lawmakers serving on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack.

After her appointment, Cheney said she was "honored to serve," adding that "our oath to the Constitution must be above partisan politics."

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