Donald Trump and George W. Bush may both be Republicans who have spent time in the Oval Office, but the two men do not see eye to eye when it comes to key issues of Trump’s presidency, such as the current president’s Russia ties, the Muslim travel ban, and other issues, the Huffington Post is reporting.
Speaking to Matt Lauer on the Today show on Monday morning, the 43rd president took exception to the 45th president on several key issues.
Specifically, the two got the conversation going by talking about Trump’s rather difficult relationship with the media. Bush spoke of Trump’s habit of barring reporters with whom he disagrees, giving preferential treatment to reporters who are favorable to him, and speaking harshly of the media to the American people. Bush spoke of his own relationship with the media in contrast.
“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.”
Recalling his own dealings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, with whom Bush frequently butted heads over Russia’s lack of freedom of the press, Bush said that Trump lacks the high road when it comes to criticizing other nations for their lack of press freedoms.
“It’s kind of hard to tell others to have an independent free press if we’re not willing to have one ourselves.”
— The Hill (@thehill) February 27, 2017
On another Russian topic, Bush claimed that Trump’s relationship with Russia and with Vladimir Putin — a relationship that, according to Salon, has already claimed the resignations of Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — needs to be held under greater scrutiny.
“I think we all need answers. I’m not sure the right avenue to take. I am sure, though, that that question needs to be answered.”
On another topic, the so-called Muslim travel ban, which was struck down by a federal court, Bush disagrees sharply. In fact, he seems to disagree with Trump’s immigration policy in general, according to the Independent.
“I am for an immigration policy that is welcoming and upholds the law.”
— HuffPostCulture (@HuffPostArts) February 16, 2017
For a former president to appear on national TV and openly criticize a sitting President is rather unusual, but for George W. Bush and his father, George H.W. Bush — the previous two Republican Presidents to serve before Trump — criticizing Donald Trump has been par for the course.
During Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign for president, 41st President George H.W. Bush himself refused to endorse Donald Trump, instead going as far as to vote for his opponent, Hillary Clinton, according to sources speaking to CNN at the time. Bush spokesman Jim McGrath declined to comment.
“The vote President Bush will cast as a private citizen in some 50 days will be just that: a private vote cast in some 50 days. He is not commenting on the presidential race in the interim.”
George W. Bush also declined to vote for Donald Trump, according to a November 2016 Daily Mail report. Although it’s not clear if he voted for Hillary Clinton, or a third-party candidate such as Libertarian Gary Johnson, or a write-in candidate, either way, Donald Trump was not amused.
“I don’t think it has any impact, frankly. I think it has no impact.”
You can see George W. Bush’s Today show interview with Matt Lauer, where he criticizes Donald Trump, here.
[Featured Image by Win McNamee/Getty Images]