ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Former US President George W. Bush believes that “there is quite clear evidence that the Russians interfered” in the 2016 US elections.
Although he did not mention the current president, Donald Trump, by name, Bush seemed to criticise the president’s decisions on immigration, as well as for trying to get closer to Russia.
“There is quite clear evidence that the Russians interfered,” Bush said during a talk in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates. “If they had an effect on the result, it’s another question.”
Bush also said that “it is problematic that a foreign nation is involved in our elections. Our democracy is only good if people trust the results. “
US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Trump win.
There are numerous investigations underway to determine whether the Trump campaign assisted the Kremlin in its efforts.
Trump has repeatedly denied any “collusion” with Russia.
Bush referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying he uses a “zero sum” strategy.
“He’s resentful,” Bush said of Putin. “The reason he does this is because he is upset by the fall of the Soviet Union. Therefore, many of his movements (are) to regain Soviet hegemony. “
Bush insisted on the need to support NATO and other US alliances with other countries.
Putin, said, “The press is constantly, looking for weakness,” said the former president. “That’s why NATO is very important.”
The United States has to reform its immigration laws, he said.
Bush became the first president in 2008 to visit the United Arab Emirates.
On Thursday, he took part in a summit in Abu Dhabi organized by the Milken Institute, a group of economic studies based in California.
His comments came in a conversation with Michael Milken, known as the king of “junk bonds” in the 1980s, who pleaded guilty to violating financial laws in 1990 and spent 22 months in prison.
Milken reached an agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States (SEC) that included a lifelong disqualification of the sector and a fine of 200 million dollars.
Milken, who has survived prostate cancer, and his family have donated hundreds of millions of dollars in recent decades. Forbes estimates that Milken’s personal fortune, which is 71 years old, is now around 3,600 million dollars.