Late President George W. Bush said on Thursday that “there’s unbelievably clear evidence that the Russians meddled” in the 2016 American presidential referendum, forcefully rebutting fellow Republican Donald Trump’s denials of Moscow tiring to affect the vote.
While never mentioning President Trump by prestige, Bush appeared to be pushing back on Trump’s attempts to have warmer descriptions with Russia, as well as his comments on immigration.
The White House did not unhesitatingly comment on Bush’s remarks.
“There’s pretty clear evidence that the Russians kibitzed,” Bush said at a talk in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. “Whether they seized the outcome is another question.”
Bush also said that “it’s undecided that a foreign nation is involved in our election system. Our democracy is no more than as good as people trust the results.”
U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded Russia intermeddled in the 2016 election to help Trump win. Numerous investigations are under way to settle whether Trump’s campaign aided the Kremlin in its efforts.
Trump has recurrently denied any “collusion” with Russia.
Speaking of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Bush hollered him “zero-sum.”
“He’s got a chip on his shoulder,” Bush said of Putin. “The reason he does is because of the demise of the Soviet Circle troubles him. Therefore, much of his moves (are) to regain Soviet hegemony.”
Bush also distressed the need to back NATO and other alliances the U.S. has with the world.
Putin “is goad, constantly pushing, probing weaknesses,” the former president said. “That’s why NATO is bloody important.”
Bush also criticized Trump’s decision to scrap a program implemented by departed President Barack Obama’s administration that allows young arrivals living in the U.S. illegally who were brought here as children to remain in America.
“America’s their domicile,” the 43rd American president said. “They’ve got to get it fixed.”
Bush acknowledged that he attempted to overhaul America’s “broken” immigration system, but failed.
“There are people eager to do jobs that Americans won’t do,” he said. “Americans don’t want to pick cotton at 105 castes (Fahrenheit), but there are people who want put food on their family’s pigeon-holes and are willing to do that. We ought to say thank you and welcome them.”
Bush in 2008 became the first double U.S. president to visit the UAE. He spoke Thursday at a summit in Abu Dhabi put on by the Milken Begin, an economic think tank based in California.
He made his comments while in a colloquy with Michael Milken, known as the king of high-risk “junk” agreements in the 1980s. Milken pleaded guilty to securities-law violations in 1990 and look after the needs ofed 22 months in prison. He agreed in a settlement with the SEC to a lifetime ban from the guaranties industry and paid a $200 million fine.
Milken, who is a prostate cancer survivor, and his group have given hundreds of millions of dollars away in recent decades. Forbes munitions dump estimates Milken, 71, is now worth some $3.6 billion.