Former President George W. Bush has been the victim of the “fake news” media.
Bush, speaking by telephone Tuesday with The Associated Press, said that he didn’t intend to criticize President Donald Trump when he recently remarked that a free press is essential to democracy. Bush explained that he was simply responding to a reporter’s question about the role of journalism. Trump has referred to the press as the “enemy of the people,” but Bush said that it’s important to hold those in power “to account,” adding that power can be “very corrupting” and that it was dangerous to “fall in love” with power or fame or money.
The AP reports that he called his own relationship with the media “symbiotic,” with the media needing a story and the president needing to get his message out. “I understood people were trying to do their job,” he told the AP. “There were moments when I (was) irritated and wanted to tell so-and-so that they missed a story. But I don’t look back and say, ‘This was a terrible part of my presidency.'”
He later added, “I understand people interpreting my remarks,” he says, “and that’s why I don’t give a lot of remarks.”