Jean Becker was the deputy press secretary for first lady Barbara Bush from 1989 to 1992 and the chief of staff for former President George H. W. Bush after he left the White House in 1993, supervising his offices in Houston, Texas, and Kennebunkport, Maine. She’s now written a book, “The Man I Knew,” about her time with the couple, who both passed away in 2018. In this excerpt, Becker reveals how the Bushes struggled to adapt to their post-White House life.
One night in 2012, Margaret Tutwiler — a former ambassador and top aide to former secretary of state James Baker — called me at home to ask if I knew anything about President Bush’s longtime friend, Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia, being assassinated by the Syrians. There were rumors everywhere, but she could not confirm. She asked if I could “check my sources.”
What she really wanted was for me to call the CIA, which maintained a special relationship with President Bush. After all, he once was the top boss there, and CIA headquarters in McLean, Va., is named the George Bush Center for Intelligence.
So I called, and my point of contact told me they were aware of the rumors; they were trying to confirm; they had “boots on the ground,” checking sources…