Former President George W. Bush reportedly knew how his speech Thursday, widely seen as an implicit rebuke of President Trump, would be received.

During his speech in New York, Bush spoke about how in the present "bigotry seems emboldened" and of "nationalism distorted into nativism." He never said Trump's name, but many politicos and journalists made the inference.

A spokesman for Bush denied the speech was shot at Trump, but MSNBC reported in the evening that a source told the network's Nicole Wallace that Bush wrote the speech himself and was aware of how it would be interpreted.

Bush's immediate successor, Barack Obama, also took a thinly veiled at Trump on Thursday, saying at a campaign event in New Jersey deriding what he said was the "politics of division" today that was present in centuries past.

"That's folks looking 50 years back. It's the 21st century, not the 19th century," he said.