In a surprising interview with the Today Show on Monday, former president George W. Bush condemned Donald Trump’s recent attacks on the First Amendment, and called for a thorough inquiry into the connection between Trump, his aides, and Russia.
With regards to the First Amendment and its protections for press freedoms, Bush called a free press “indispensable to democracy,” saying to Matt Lauer, “we need an independent media to hold people like me to account.” In a rebuke to Trump’s assault on the media, Bush continued, “[p]ower 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.”
Matt Lauer then asked Bush for his thoughts on the many questions swirling about with respect Trump’s dealings with Russia. Bush did not mince words, saying, “I think we all need answers. I’m not sure the right avenue to take. I am sure, though, that that question [on Trump’s Russian ties] needs to be answered.”
These critiques from the former Republican president come on the heels of critical comments from John McCain, Darrell Issa, and other Republicans in Congress. Hopefully, they are a sign of changing Republicans sentiments, and an indication that responsible Republicans will be willing to put politics to the side, do their jobs, and hold Trump accountable.