Former President George W. Bush praised the news media in a recent interview in what appeared to be a criticism of President Donald Trump's harsh rhetoric on news organizations that have reported negative stories about his campaign and presidency.
"I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy. That we need the media to hold people like me to account," Bush told NBC’s "Today" show, according to Politico. "I mean, power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive and it's important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power, whether it be here or elsewhere."
The remarks come in the midst of Trump's ongoing feud with the media, which began during his campaign but appears to have escalated in recent weeks.
"I want you all to know that we are fighting the fake news. It’s fake, phony, fake," Trump said during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Committee convention on Feb. 24, according to the Daily Caller. "A few days ago, I called the fake news ‘the enemy of the people,’ and they are. They are the enemy of the people. Because they have no sources. They just make them up when there are none."
Trump went on to clarify his feelings about the media and some of the sources used in negative stories.
"I’m not against the media. I’m not against the press. I don’t mind bad stories, if I deserve them. I love good stories. I don’t get too many of them. I am only against the fake news media or press," he said. "I’m against the people that make up stories and make up sources. They shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody’s name. Let their name be put out there. There are some great reporters out there."