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Amy Sherman
By Amy Sherman February 14, 2016

Donald Trump wrongly says Jeb Bush said he would 'moon everybody' and 'nobody reports that'

Jeb Bush took Donald Trump to task over the language he has used on the campaign trail in a Republican debate in South Carolina.

That included Trump’s comments about women and Sen. John McCain, as well as an accusation that he mocked a disabled reporter who has a physical impairment, which Trump denied.

Trump fired back that Bush has been a potty mouth but has gotten away with it.

"Two days ago, he said he would take his pants off and moon everybody," Trump said Feb. 13. "And that's fine -- nobody reports that. He gets up and says that. And then he tells me that, oh, my language was a little bit rough."

Did Bush really say such a thing, and did the press ignore it? Trump’s recounting of the facts is pretty selective.

Bush’s comment about mooning

Trump’s spokeswoman referred us to a a Feb. 6 article by Matt Viser in the Boston Globe a few days before the New Hampshire primary. The main point of the article was that Bush had to do well in New Hampshire -- or later this month in South Carolina -- or he would face pressure to end his campaign.

"Sitting on his campaign bus — laptop, turkey jerky, and coffee all nearby — Jeb Bush was befuddled over his campaign’s failure to capture more attention from the news media.

"I could drop my pants," he said in an interview. "Moon the whole crowd. Everybody would be aghast, except the press guys would never notice."

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So it was actually Bush who suggested -- in jest here -- to the Boston Globe reporter that he could even pull down his pants and moon people and he still would get no media attention.

It’s fair to say that Bush was exaggerating here to make a point about the lack of media coverage he was getting. And Bush made that point to a reporter from a major publication. And that reporter led with it in an article three days before the primary.

Trump’s comments made it sound like Bush was threatening to moon people, and that’s not the case.

Bush’s quote at the time was repeated on various blogs on the Internet, and The Drudge Report posted it on Facebook.

Our ruling

Trump said that Bush "said he would take his pants off and moon everybody ... Nobody reports that."

Bush did talk about mooning people. The Boston Globe reported on Feb. 6 that Bush said, "I could drop my pants. Moon the whole crowd. Everybody would be aghast, except the press guys would never notice."

Bush’s comment to the reporter was intended to show how he felt he was getting no campaign coverage. But Trump’s statement is misleading, because Bush wasn’t threatening to moon people, and his comment was indeed reported.

The statement has an element of truth but ignores critical context. So we rate it Mostly False.

Our Sources

Boston Globe, "In New Hampshire, Jeb Bush is searching for a comeback," Feb. 6, 2016

Facebook, Matt Drudge post, Feb. 6, 2016

PolitiFact, "Donald Trump says 'he didn't say' the things about women that Megyn Kelly asked him about in debate," Aug. 10, 2015

PolitiFact, "Trump: I called McCain a 'hero' four times," July 19, 2015

The Hill, "Trump denies mocking disabled reporter," Nov. 26, 2015

Washington Post, "CBS News Republican debate transcript annotated," Feb. 13, 2016

Interview, Hope Hicks, Donald Trump campaign spokeswoman, Feb. 13, 2016

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Donald Trump wrongly says Jeb Bush said he would 'moon everybody' and 'nobody reports that'

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