George W. Bush Pushes Back On Claims He Criticized Trump

Katie Jerkovich Entertainment Reporter
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Former president George W. Bush pushed back on reports that he has criticized President Donald Trump on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Thursday.

During his first ever appearance on the show, the former president said he agrees that there needs to be “a free and independent press,” but argued that his comments this week were not directed at Trump and said he won’t comment on what Trump is doing because it doesn’t “serve the nation or the office of president” to do so. (RELATED: George W. Bush Favors A ‘Welcoming’ Immigration Policy, Says Media Is ‘Indispensable’ To Democracy)


“Well I think this isn’t the first time our nation’s ever been divided,” Bush said. “I remember what it was like when I got out of college there was a Vietnam war and a draft. There were major race riots. There was political assassinations.” (RELATED: George W. Bush Painted Portraits Of Veterans For A New Book. Here Are A Few.)

“The president was nearly impeached and a lot of people thought the country was going down the tubes,” he added. “And it turns out we’re too strong to go down the tubes. And so I’m very optimistic.”

“I’m out of politics,” he continued. “You know my whole view is, I don’t think it serves the nation or the office of president to have a former president to criticize his successor. I’m happy to be off the stage.”

“I said something the other day, and of course the headlines were ‘Bush criticizes Trump,'” he said. “Here’s what I believed when I was president, post-president. The nation needs a free and independent press.”

“And the reason why is that power can be very corrupting and we need a press corps to hold politicians to account, including me,” he added. “And yeah I didn’t like it sometimes when people said things about me, that’s the job.  I always viewed the relationship…symbiotic relationship. I needed the press to get the message out and they needed to make news.”

“So I used to tell a lot of these tyrants when I would visit them that they need to have a free press,” he continued. “And I would point to our country as an example where power doesn’t make you immune to criticism or to corruption investigations.”

The news broke of Bush’s appearance as part of his book tour late Wednesday night after DeGeneres dropped a photo on Instagram for her 41.1 million followers standing next to Bush backstage at her show. In the caption next to the picture she wrote, “You run into the darndest people backstage at my show. Don’t miss tomorrow.”

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