Former Florida governor and Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush has stated that he does not think President Donald Trump obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James Comey.
Bush made the remarks while speaking at Boston College on June 8, according to the Boston Herald.
Bush's remarks came on the same day as Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. The former FBI chief refused to say whether he thought Trump engaged in obstruction of justice, but did declare that the president had directed him to halt the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, The Hill reports.
When asked if he thought the president was guilty of obstructing justice, Bush said, "No, I don't, but who cares what I think?" the Herald reports.
Others have weighed in on the issue in the aftermath of Comey's testimony.
"There's no question that Trump was involved in obstruction of justice," Nick Akerman, who worked as a prosecutor on the Watergate case, said on June 8, according to the Hill. "The Comey testimony today makes that crystal clear."
Akerman went further, drawing a comparison between Trump's Flynn and a leading figure in the Watergate controversy.
"The bottom line is the president is worried that Flynn is going to turn into the next James McCord, the Watergate burglar who wound up getting a heavy sentence and then fingering the people in the White House," Akerman added.
Akerman rejected any attempt to explain away Trump's decision to ask Comey to shut down the Flynn probe.
"The idea that he is some kind of naive waif who doesn't understand how Washington works or the criminal system [works] is absurd," Akerman added.
But Bush expressed frustration with the conflicts raging in Washington and urged Trump to move on.
"It would be great to get back to the business of governing and less about the swirling controversies," Bush added. "I just think the president needs to focus on doing his job."
He argued that some positive progress had been made.
"There are great opportunities for him to hire people," he said. "He's done pretty well there. The judicial appointments have been good, he's got a great foreign policy team, he should be president and stop creating all the controversies -- let that process takes its place."
Although he does not agree with Trump on everything, Bush said he still has hopes for the administration.
"'Drain the swamp' was a classic line, it resonated with me," added Bush. "I didn't vote for the guy, I'm not a big fan and everybody knows that, but I was hopeful that he would drain the swamp and the swamp-draining would include lobbying reform … which could be done by executive order if the president really wanted it."