POLITICS
08/02/2018 13:24 SAST

George W. Bush: It's Pretty Clear That Russia Meddled In 2016 Election

Vladimir Putin is a “zero-sum” kind of guy.

Former President George W. Bush defied his party’s dismissal of Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. election Thursday, saying “there’s pretty clear evidence that the Russians meddled.”

Speaking in Abu Dhabi at a forum organized by the Milken Institute, a California-based think tank, Bush didn’t say whether he thought the meddling affected election results, according to The Associated Press. But the intent was undeniable, he said.

“It’s problematic that a foreign nation is involved in our election,” Bush said.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly dismissed intelligence reports of Russian meddling in the election as fake news, a hoax and made-up. Republicans in Congress have been trying to undermine investigations, and last week released a secret GOP memo aimed at discrediting the FBI.

Bush characterized Russian President Vladimir Putin as “zero-sum” with a “chip on his shoulder” about the demise of the Soviet Union.

“He can’t think, ‘How can we both win?’ He only thinks, ‘How do I win, you lose?’” Bush said.

Pivoting to the topic of immigration, Bush called for reform ― another possible critique of Trump. The president revoked protections for hundreds of thousands of recipients of the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals program, only to use the program as bait in trying to gain funding for a border wall as part of a broader immigration deal.

Bush has made veiled swipes at Trump before, saying in October that “bigotry seems emboldened” and politics seem “more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.”