Bush: Take Trump's Word He Wants to Unify Nation

But he also defends the 'indispensable' media
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2017 11:11 AM CST
Bush Defends 'Indispensible' Media
Former President George W. Bush.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

Former President George W. Bush on Monday offered what CNN characterizes as "muted criticism" of some of President Trump's actions, but he also pointed out that Trump has been in office a mere month. "You have to take the man for his word that he wants to unify the country," Bush said on the Today show. "We'll see if he's able to do so." See the video here. Some specifics:

  • Media: Asked about Trump's description of the press as an "enemy of the people," Bush laughed and said, "I considered the media to be indispensable to democracy." He said the press was necessary to keep authorities "like me" in check because "power can be very addictive, and it can be corrosive." He added that he'd spent time trying to convince Vladimir Putin on the subject, "and it's kind of hard to tell others to have an independent, free press if we're not willing to have one ourselves."

  • Russia: On Moscow's alleged meddling in the election, Bush said, "We all need answers." But he stopped short of calling for a special prosecutor, saying that decision should be made by Congress. He specifically praised Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr and said he'd defer to him on the matter.
  • Travel ban: Asked directly if he supported Trump's now-stalled executive order, Bush avoided saying yes or no. "I am for an immigration policy that is welcoming and upholds the law."
(Read more George W. Bush stories.)

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