(CNN) - A top aide to former President George W. Bush confirmed Wednesday that he became ill while attending a 2007 meeting with world leaders, but noted that the sickness was likely the result of a virus, and not intentionally poisoned food.
Former first lady Laura Bush suggests in a new memoir that she, her husband, and several aides may have been poisoned during a 2007 visit to Germany for the G8 summit.
Frances Townsend, Bush's Homeland Security adviser and CNN contributor, said there was "no indication" that the President had been poisoned, but doctors and the United States Secret Service did consider the possibility, during an interview broadcast Wednesday on "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer."
"The truth was ultimately we didn't really believe there was a basis to think they were poisoned, but you can understand – you would have thought us not competent if we hadn't considered the possibility and looked at it," Townsend said.
According to the former first lady, doctors and the Secret Service investigated the possibility a poisoning had occurred but were unable to make a definitive conclusion, an account backed up by Townsend.
(CNN) - Laura Bush is suggesting she, her husband, and several aides were poisoned during a 2007 visit to Germany for the G8 summit – one of several new details in the former first lady's forthcoming memoir, "Spoken from the Heart."
Due to hit bookshelves May 4 but purchased by CNN at a Washington-area bookstore, Mrs. Bush says she and former President George W. Bush became mysteriously sick on the Germany trip to such a degree that the president became bedridden.
According to Mrs. Bush, doctors and the Secret Service investigated the possibility a poisoning had occurred but were unable to make a definitive conclusion.
News reports filed during the event show the White House did disclose Bush missed a series of morning sessions at the summit because he had contracted an apparent virus, but White House officials did not provide further details at that time.
"Nearly a dozen members of our delegation were stricken, even George, who started to feel sick during an early morning staff briefing," Mrs. Bush writes. "[O]ne of our military aides had difficulty walking and a White House staffer lost all hearing in one ear. Exceedingly alarmed, the Secret Service went on full alert, combing the resort for potential poisons."
"George felt so ill that he met with [French President Nicolas] Sarkozy and did not even stand up to greet him," she continues, adding later, "We never learned if any other delegations became ill, or if ours, mysteriously, was the only one."
Excerpts of the book were first published by the New York Times Tuesday.
The 432-page memoir is both a recount of the unique experience of being a first lady and a reflection of the eight years she spent in the White House as her husband's popularity gradually declined. But among the book's most poignant passages are those that delve into Mrs. Bush's involvement in a tragic 1963 car collision in Midland, Texas that killed her good friend who happened to be driving the other car.
(CNN) - Laura Bush and Sarah Palin have rarely crossed paths, but the two will appear at the same North Carolina forum this June.
Bush and Palin are the featured speakers at the Blueridge Educational Resource Group "Women's Expo" on June 5 in Charlotte, the group confirms. Bush, the former first lady, will speak at 1 p.m. ET following a VIP luncheon while Palin will address the crowd at 4 p.m. ET. The former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee will also hold a book signing for the first 75 people who purchase the $300-a-piece tickets.
The group says a portion of the proceeds will go to the Victory Junction Gang, a camp for chronically ill children in North Carolina.
Blueridge Educational Resource Group describes itself as a non-profit corporation "whose purpose is to affect the issues that plague our society such as poverty, drug abuse, and teen pregnancy in a positive manner using every means possible."
(CNN) – Laura Bush will deliver a paid speech to the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan in March, one of select few public appearances the former first lady has made since departing the White House last January.
Her March 16 visit to Benton Harbor, Michigan, a town on Lake Michigan, comes roughly a year after her husband addressed the same group and offered a defense of his administration's use of harsh interrogations tactics.
Laura Bush's remarks aren't likely to be as politically-tinged: The group is promoting the speech by highlighting her record on early childhood development and women's issues.
Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin will also address the Economic Club in May. Palin and the Bushes are clients of the Washington Speakers Bureau.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former first lady Laura Bush is defending President Obama's decision to address the nation's school children, telling CNN Monday that it is "really important for everyone to respect the President of the United States."
"I think that there is a place for the President of the United States to talk to school children and encourage school children, and I think there are a lot of people that should do the same," she told CNN's Zain Verjee, in an interview set to air Monday on The Situation Room. "And that is encourage their own children to stay in school and to study hard and to try to achieve the dream that they have."
The former first lady said she believed criticism of the speech had arisen because of the accompanying lesson plans. If parents are opposed to the address, said Bush, "That's their right. You know that certainly is the right of parents to choose what they want their children to hear in school… (But) I think it's also really important for everyone to respect the President of the United States."
Does she think it's fair to criticize Obama, as some have, by labeling him a socialist? "I'd have no idea whether it's fair, do you think I thought it was fair when President Bush was criticized - not really. So, I guess not," she responded.
(CNN) – Former First Lady Laura Bush - who has kept a low profile since her husband's administration came to an end - is speaking out on a cause she championed while in the White House: the ongoing situation in Burma.
In a Washington Post op-ed set to be published in the paper's Sunday edition, Bush draws parallels between the events in Iran and Burma (Myanmar), and urges the United Nations to press the ruling regime there to end human rights abuses.
"In the past 21 months, the number of political prisoners incarcerated by the junta has doubled," Bush writes in the op-ed. "Within the past 10 days, two Burmese citizens were sentenced to 18 months in prison. Their offense: praying in a Buddhist pagoda for the release of the jailed opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. That is only the tip of the regime's brutality."
Suu Kyi, under house arrest for 13 of the past 19 years, had been expected to be freed by the military junta last month, until the new subversion charge was filed. Suu Kyi is accused of violating her house arrest by offering temporary shelter to American John William Yettaw, who swam to her lakeside home on May 3. She said she doesn't know Yettaw, didn't know of his plans and didn't do anything wrong.
Related: Myanmar's Suu Kyi turns 64 in prison
Her supporters say the arrest is meant to keep her confined so she cannot participate in the general elections that the junta has scheduled for next year. President Obama urged for her release last month.
In her op-ed, Bush also says the ruling regime has forced tens of thousands of child soldiers into its army, closed churches and mosques, and imprisoned comedians and bloggers who take aim at the government.
"With U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon planning to visit Burma this summer, it is crucial that he press the regime to take immediate steps to end human rights abuses, particularly in ethnic minority areas," writes Bush. "There have been 38 U.N. resolutions condemning these abuses, yet the horrors continue unabated. Under the junta's brutal rule, too many lives have been wasted, lives whose talents could have helped all of Burma prosper."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former first lady Laura Bush said Monday she knows why former Vice President Dick Cheney feels the need to attack President Obama's policies, and publicly defend his own administration's legacy.
But she explained why her husband, former President George Bush, has not given any public interviews or commented critically on the new administration since leaving office in January.
"I think that's [Cheney's] right as a citizen of the U.S., and I think he also feels obligated, and so I understand why he wants to speak out," Laura Bush said in an interview on ABC's Good Morning America broadcast Monday. "On the other hand, George feels like as a former president that he owes President Obama his silence on issues, and that there's no reason to second guess any decisions that he makes."
BENTON HARBOR, Michigan (CNN) – Former President George W. Bush said Thursday that if Laura Bush hadn't been first lady, he isn't sure he could have counted on her vote.
"I can promise you that her life dream when she was growing up was not to be first lady of the United States," he told a Michigan audience in one of his first major domestic speeches since leaving the White House. "Frankly, I am not so sure that if we hadn't married she'd have voted for me."
Bush continued: "There's a lot of pressure in the White House as I'm sure you can imagine. Pressure sometimes can make a marriage stronger or weaker. In my case because of her patience and her enthusiasm, it made our marriage a really good marriage."
The pressure of the presidency, he said, weighs most on family members.
"It's much harder to be the son of the president than to be the president. And it's much harder to be the father of the president than to be the president," he said. "And I used to have to admonish him not pay attention to what they were writing on the editorial pages about his son. I had gone through the same agony myself. And so I am confident that the end of the presidency is a great relief because of our strong love."
(CNN) –- Just over a month since they left 1600 Pennsylvania Ave for a quiet Dallas neighborhood, former first lady Laura Bush said she and her husband are “back to our old routine.”
In her first post-White House interview, the former first lady told ABC News that she and former President George W. Bush were enjoying coffee together every morning, holding dinner parties with friends, and dealing with the hunt for furniture. “Life is great,” she said.
"We have very little furniture. We don't have a kitchen table or a dining room table," said Bush. "Friends loaned me a kitchen table, and the other night I had 16 people for dinner, and I had to borrow chairs from the Secret Service next door.”
Laura Bush says her husband is meeting the neighbors, making trips to the hardware store, and catching up on some reading via a Kindle. His latest read is a novel given to him for Christmas by former Vice President Dick Cheney.
And while Laura Bush lived and breathed politics for the last eight years, the former first lady said she did not watch President Obama's first address to Congress because she simply forgot.