Jenna Bush Hager Reveals Chat She Had With Dad About Alcohol That Changed How She Views Drinking

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Katie Jerkovich Entertainment Reporter
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Jenna Bush Hager got candid about a talk she had with President George W. Bush 20 years ago about alcohol that changed her views on drinking.

“I’ll never forget I was in Maine for my cousin’s wedding. … We went for a walk, and he said, ‘I just want to talk to you about drinking — and I found in my life it got in the way of the things that mattered most — and I want to make sure that you just know that it can and be aware of it,'”Jenna shared during a segment on the “TODAY with Hoda [and] Jenna” Wednesday. It all happened during a part of the show when the two were discussing how Ben Affleck opened up about his divorce and struggle with alcohol addiction. (RELATED: Here’s A Look Back At George H.W. Bush’s Life In Pictures) 


“I think at the time I probably was like, ‘I’m not even hungover,'” she added. “But I do think it was such a model to me about how I want to parent that, just to be transparent about either things that have happened in our family’s past or things that you know your kids, that can happen to your kids.”  (RELATED: Here Were George H.W. Bush’s Final Words To His Family)

Hager continued, “He said, ‘I just want you to know that there was a point in my life where I thought like this is interrupting what’s beautiful,’ He just knew that it was interrupting his dreams and interrupting his parenting. I always appreciated it, and I still do.”

In 2010, George W. Bush wrote in his book “Decision Points” about giving up drinking after first lady Laura Bush pushed him to decide whether he wanted to choose alcohol or fatherhood.

The TV host also shared how that chat still effects her decision making today as a mother of 3.

“Parenting is tedious and can be difficult, and it can be easy to open that bottle of wine at 5 o’clock on a Monday,'” Jenna shared. “But I catch myself because I had those conversations (with my father), and I try not to — for my kids and for me.”