In an appearance Monday on NBC’s “Today,” former President George W. Bush was asked by show host Matt Lauer about President Donald Trump’s pledge to unify the nation.
“First of all, there’s only within been one month in office — you know, he’s got four years,” he said. “Secondly, I think you have to take the man at his word that he wants to unify the country. We’ll see if he’s able to do so. It’s hard to unify the country with the news media being so split up. When I was president, you mattered a lot more because there were three of you. And now, there’s all kinds of information being bombarded out. And people can say things anonymously. And it’s just a different world.”
When asked if he ever considered the media to be an “enemy” of the people, as Trump had alleged, Bush stressed the importance of the media to hold those in power accountable.
“I considered the media to be indispensable to democracy,” Bush continued. “That we need an independent media to hold people like me to account. I mean, 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. Whether it be here or elsewhere. One of the things I spent a lot of time doing, trying to convince a personal like Vladimir Putin, for example, to accept the notion of an independent press. It’s kind of hard to tell others to have an independent, free press and we’re not willing to have one ourselves. ”
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