Politics

Bush Doesn’t See Eye to Eye With Trump on Media, Muslim Ban

‘We need an independent media to hold people like me to account’

Asked if a special prosecutor was necessary to look into ties between President Donald Trump and his associates and Russia, former President George W. Bush replied, “you’re talking to the wrong guy.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President George W. Bush defended the media and expressed differing views from President Donald Trump on the Muslim ban and immigration during an interview Monday.

Despite getting his fair share of grief from the media, Bush told the “Today Show” that journalists and the media are crucial to governing, a stark difference from Trump’s condemnation of some media outlets as enemies of the state.

“I considered the media to be indispensable to democracy. We need an independent media to hold people like me to account,” the 43rd president said. “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 didn’t make a direct criticism of Trump, but his words contrasted with those of the 45th president.  

When asked about Trump’s executive order that barred U.S. travel for nationals from seven predominantly-Muslim countries, Bush referenced the First Amendment and freedom of religion.

“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 not worship at all … A bedrock of our freedom is the right to worship freely,” he said.

On whether an independent investigation into the Trump administration’s ties to Russia is needed, Bush deflected.

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

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.