Bush Speaks Up for Unfettered Press

Cheryl Sanders
March 1, 2017

George W Bush says "we all need answers" on possible links between President Donald Trump and the Russian government.

It's the first time Bush has been drawn on his views of Trump, however slight.

His comments come after a Monday morning interview on NBC's "Today," during which he addressed Trump's executive order temporarily barring travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Bush said he would trust Senate Intelligence panel Chairman Richard Burr to decide if a special prosecutor is necessary.

On a media tour to promote his new book about military leaders he's known, Bush fielded questions from Lauer on a host of timely Trump issues, none more so than his ongoing feud with mainstream media.

'I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy. we need an independent media to hold people like me to account, ' he said.

Bush responded to that sentiment by saying "power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive, and it's important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power".

"I'm optimistic about where we'll end up".

The former president pointed to his experience in Texas growing up with "a lot of people of Hispanic heritage" and his attempts to reform immigration policies during his time in office, when he sought to provide a pathway to legal residency for millions of undocumented immigrants.

"You see, I understood right off the bat, Matt, that this is an ideological conflict, and people who murder the innocent are not religious people", Bush said. "It's kind of hard to tell others to have an independent, free press when we're not willing to have one ourselves", he said.

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