Former President George W. Bush appeared on the “Ellen” show today where he warned that Vladimir Putin will “push and push and push” until somebody “stands up to him.”
#43 also discussed his friendship with Michelle Obama, saying it had surprised many people – and admitted that Barack Obama had never quite hugged him like the former first lady.
Bush was on the show to promote his new book Portraits Of Courage: A Commander In Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors, and even walked in doing a little dance – although he did ask Ellen to give him more lessons in the future.
Ellen at one point displayed a photo of Michelle Obama hugging the former Republican president during the opening the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History And Culture in September last year.
The image went viral at the time, especially as it painted a rare moment of affection in an increasingly acrimonious political climate.
“That surprised everybody, that’s what’s so weird about society today, that people on opposite sides of the political spectrum could actually like each other,” Bush told Ellen.
“But you’re closer to her than Barack?” the host asked.
“Well let’s put it this way – he’s never given me a hug that way,” the former president replied.
Bush then discussed Putin, saying, “And so yeah, I had a contentious relationship with him and I think whoever the president is, is going to find out that Putin will push and push and push until someone stands up to him.”
Ellen then asked him about President Trump’s contentious approach to the media, prompting Bush to express his strong support for the press.
“Here is what I believed when I was president, post-president – the nation needs a free and independent press. And the reason why is, is that power can be very corrupting and we need a press court to hold politicians to account, including me. And I didn’t like it sometimes when people said things, you know, about me but you know that’s the job.”