In a Monday interview with Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today show, former President George W. Bush said that when he was president, the media “mattered a lot more.”
Bush asserted that it might be difficult for President Trump to unite the country with “the news media being so split up. When I was president,” he said, “you mattered a lot more. Because there was, like, three of you. And now there’s all kinds of information being bombarded out and people can say things anonymously. It’s just a different world.”
Lauer pressed Bush, asking, “Even at times when you were dealing with the worst criticism, did you ever consider the media to be the enemy of the American people?”
“I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy,” Bush replied. “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.”
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On the topic of Trump’s influence on the current political division in the United States, Lauer asked, “Have you, in the first month, seen him do or say anything that, in your opinion, would be an attempt to heal the wounds of the election?”
Bush noted that Trump has been in office for only a month, and that “he’s got four years. I think you have to take the man for his word that he wants to unify the country, and we’ll see if he’s able to do so.”
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