Inside the Trump-Bush melodrama: Decades of tension and discomfort

But Trump reserves particular, personal ire for Jeb Bush, whose first name he commonly mocks by drawing out in a slight drawl. One Trump associate, who requested anonymity to speak candidly, said of Trump: “He’s very smart, he’s driven and he has two goals: One, to be elected president, and two, to have Jeb not be president.”

In a 35-minute interview this week with The Washington Post tracing his history with the Bushes, Trump unleashed a hailstorm of scorn. He found 33 ways to skewer the family — about one put-down per minute.

On Jeb Bush: “I mean, this guy. I don’t think he has a clue.”

On George H.W. Bush: “I really liked the father — really like him as a person. But I hated his ‘read my lips, no more taxes,’ and then he raised taxes monstrously.”

On George W. Bush: “He didn’t seem smart. I’d watch him in interviews and I’d look at people and ask, ‘Do you think he understands the question?’”

And back to Jeb: “He’s not up to snuff. . . . Jeb is never going to bring us to the promised land. He can’t.”

Trump was especially accusatory when he talked about Jeb Bush’s work in investment banking. After leaving the governor’s office in 2007, Bush was an adviser to Lehman Brothers and, later, Barclays, earning between $1.3 million and $2 million a year. Trump called Bush’s role at Lehman a “no-show job” and suggested it was a reward for helping direct Florida state funds to the firm, whose collapse in 2008 helped kick off the Great Recession.