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President George W. Bush encouraged his daughter Jenna Bush Hager to flee


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Jenna Bush Hager shared that her father, George W. Bush, pushed her to elope with her husband, Henry Chase Hager, in 2008.

On Wednesday morning’s episode of the Today show, Bush Hager, 40, revealed to his co-host, Hoda Kotb, that his marriage could have turned out very differently.

“My dad wanted us to run away because it was painful,” Bush Hager told Kotb. “He was like, ‘What are you doing? You should run away.'”

Jenna Bush Hager revealed on an episode of “Today” that her father, George W. Bush, wanted her to run away.
(Photo by Shealah Craighead/The White House via Getty Images)

Bush Hager noted that this advice came during her father’s presidency, between 2001 and 2009. She noted that former President Bush might not have been very happy with a wedding in Las Vegas.

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“I don’t know if he wanted us to go to Vegas to do it,” she said.

The couple married in 2008 at her family’s Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford, Texas. In May 2021, Bush Hager recalled a special moment she had with her dad before he walked her down the aisle.

President George W. Bush encouraged his daughter Jenna Bush Hager to flee

Bush Hager revealed that this advice came from his father during his 2001-2009 presidency.
(Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

“I think my dad picked me up in a van, in his van, and he said, ‘You look beautiful, baby,’ and then we both cried,” Bush Hager said in an episode of the Today show.

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In the same episode, she mentioned that her family still had the cross her father helped build for their ceremony.

“I remember clearly seeing Henry, standing in front of this cross that my father had helped build for us,” she said. “He’s still there, so we have our Christmas services there that we hold. Our kids have to stick to it.”

President George W. Bush encouraged his daughter Jenna Bush Hager to flee

Jenna Bush Hager co-hosts “Today” with Hoda Kotb.
(Getty)

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The couple share three children together: Mila, 8, Poppy, 6, and Hal, 3.

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