Jenna Bush Hager Talks About Her Father’s Controversial Friendship With Ellen DeGeneres

George W. Bush and Ellen DeGeneres are friends, despite their differing views.

George Bush and Jenna Bush pose together.
Shealah Craighead / Getty Images

George W. Bush and Ellen DeGeneres are friends, despite their differing views.

Ellen DeGeneres and George W. Bush don’t exactly share the same views. The popular talk show host leans more on the liberal side, while the former president is a steadfast Republican. And yet, the two remain good friends. In a recent interview with People, President Bush’s daughter Jenna Bush Hager recently shared her views about her father’s close friendship with DeGeneres.

Hager says she isn’t surprised by how close her father is with DeGeneres who hosted Bush on her show in 2017. Hager emphasized that her father has always taught her that everyone is entitled to his or her opinions and is also open to hearing from those who think differently than he does. The Today Show host says Bush always tried to impress upon Hager and her twin sister Barbara Bush when they were growing up that just because one person doesn’t share the same political views as another doesn’t mean the two can’t still have mutual respect for each other and even friendship.

“My dad likes people that think differently than him, that believe differently, and people are surprised by this. But my parents raised both Barbara and I to have our own opinions. If you ask anybody that’s worked for him or knows him, plenty of the people that worked for him have different opinions or different lifestyles, thought different things and felt comfortable sharing that with him.”

The controversy surrounding this seemingly unlikely pair’s friendship started after DeGeneres was spotted seated next to the former president at a Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers game back in October. The two were smiling and laughing together, which some on Twitter found a bit odd.

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In her usual comedic fashion, DeGeneres later joked about the incident in an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show and tried to use the moment to teach a lesson about love and acceptance. While the media may promote division, it doesn’t have to be that way, DeGeneres told her viewers.

“Here’s the thing. I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have. We’re all different and I think that we’ve forgotten that that’s OK.”

While some may have been bothered by this, Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard found it to be refreshing. As The Inquisitr previously reported, the Hawaii Congresswoman commended the daytime talk show host for promoting kindness and inclusivity.