NEW YORK, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Hip-hop star Kanye West now admits he "didn't have the grounds" to say after Hurricane Katrina U.S. President George W. Bush didn't care about black people.
The former president mentioned in his new book "Decision Points" how upset he was by West's 2005 comments and brought up the sore point in an interview on NBC's "Today" news show.
"He called me a racist … . I didn't appreciate it then. I don't appreciate it now. It's one thing to say, 'I don't appreciate the way he's handled his business.' It's another thing to say, 'This man's a racist.' I resent it, it's not true, and it was one of the most disgusting moments in my presidency," Bush said in the previously taped chat that aired Monday.
Speaking in a separate taped interview to air on "Today" Thursday, West said: "I would tell George Bush in my moment of frustration that I didn't have the grounds to call him a racist. But I believe that in a situation of high emotion, like that, we as human beings don't always choose the right words."
Bush said Wednesday on "Today" that he appreciated West's apology.
"It wasn't just Kanye West who was talking like that during Katrina. I cited him as an example. I cited others as an example as well. And, I appreciate that," Bush said.
Asked if his faith allows him to forgive West, the former president said: "Absolutely. Of course it does. I'm not a hater. I didn't hate Kanye West. But, I was talking about an environment in which people really just say things that hurt. Nobody wants to be called a racist if, in your heart, you believe in equality of race."