President Donald Trump has managed to upset one of the two remaining living Republican presidents — and enough to compel him to air his grievances in the media spotlight.
Former President George W. Bush spoke about Trump’s attacks on the press and the Russian influence on the current administration, among other topics, during an interview this past Monday on the Today show.
According to The Washington Post, Bush said that an independent press is fundamental to democracy, despite Trump declaring it the “enemy of the people” because of unfavorable coverage. Attacking the free press, Bush argued, would make it impossible to preach democratic values overseas, as people would see the U.S. as hypocritical:
“I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy… We need an independent media to hold people like me to account. Power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive and it’s important for the media to call to account people who abuse power, whether it be here or elsewhere… It’s kind of hard to tell others to have an independent free press when we’re not willing to have one ourselves.”
Bush also brought up the fact that he attempted to convince authoritarians such as Russian President Vladimir Putin to uphold the values that would allow a free press throughout his presidency — and that Trump now stands to undo that precedent by attacking the press.
Furthermore, Bush added that “we all need answers” regarding whether Trump officials were in contact with the Russia during the election, and said that if Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr “were to recommend a special prosecutor, then [the investigation would] have a lot more credibility with me.”
Lastly, Bush rejected Trump’s travel ban — which overwhelmingly targets people of the Muslim faith — and instead defended religious freedom, according to The Washington Post:
“I think it’s very important for all of us to recognize one of our great strengths is for people to be able to worship the way they want to or to not worship at all… A bedrock of our freedom is the right to worship freely. I understood right off the bat that this was an ideological conflict and people who murder the innocent are not religious people — they want to advance an ideology and we have faced those kinds of ideologies in the past.”
Bush concluded by saying, “I am for an immigration policy that’s welcoming and upholds the law,” after adding that the terror threat is not a religious war but an ideological one, according to The Washington Post.
Next, read the recent comments from Peru’s president to Trump explaining that we need bridges, not walls, before finding out how the Trump administration is reversing government stances on transgender rights.