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George W. Bush on President Trump’s Russia Ties: ‘We Need Answers’

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Former President George W. Bush weighed in on the calls for a special prosecutor to investigate the connections between the Trump campaign and Russia during an interview with NBC’s Today show on Monday.

“I think we all need answers,” Bush said. “Whether or not the special prosecutor is the right way to go or not you’re talking to the wrong guy.”

Questions about the Trump campaigns connections to Russia throughout the 2016 election have lingered in the wake of reports that officials from Trump’s camp had repeated contacts with Russian officials throughout the election cycle. Bush said Monday that he would be looking to Republican Sen. Richard Burr, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, for his response to the questions about a special prosecutor

“I have great faith in Richard Burr. If he were to recommend a special prosecutor then I’d be—it’d have a lot more credibility with me,” Bush said. “I’ve never been a lawyer. I’m not sure the right avenue to take. I am sure, though, that that question needs to be answered.”

The president visited the Today show to talk about his new book, Portraits of Courage, in which he pays tribute to America’s veterans via portraits. Bush, whose brother Jeb ran against Trump in the Republican primary, did not bash the President in the interview, but he was pressed on the first month of the Administration.

Bush said having a free press is crucial to democracy, amid the current President’s repeated charges that the media is “fake” and the “enemy of the American people.”

“I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy,” President Bush said. “Power can be very addictive. Power can be very corrosive.”

Bush was also asked about the executive order that bans travelers from seven majority Muslim countries. “A bedrock of our freedom is the right to worship freely,” Bush said. “I am for an immigration policy that’s welcoming and upholds the law.”

Bush said U.S. and media should take Trump at his word when he says he wants to bring the country together.

“I think you have to take a man for his word that he wants to unify the country,” Bush said. “It’s hard to unify the country, though, with the news media being so split up.”

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