In a wide-ranging interview that shied away from directly criticizing the current commander in chief, former President George W. Bush said it’s critical for the media to hold accountable “people who abuse their power.” He also rejected the current administration’s controversial immigration policy.

 

 

 

 

“I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy. We needed the media to hold people like me to account,” Bush told TODAY in an exclusive interview. “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.”

 

 

Bush was asked about the media’s role in light of President Donald Trump’s recent characterization of the media as “enemies of America.” He noted he spent a lot of time during his two terms trying to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to embrace an independent press.

 

“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.

Bush, the last Republican to occupy the White House before Trump, also was asked about President Trump’s controversial executive order that banned immigrants from mostly predominantly Muslim nations.

 

“I am for an immigration policy that is welcoming and upholds the law,” he said when asked if he favored or opposed the policy.