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George W. Bush says Russia meddled in 2016 U.S. presidential poll

George W. Bush.   | Photo Credit: AP

Former United States President George W. Bush on Thursday said “there’s pretty clear evidence that the Russians meddled” in the 2016 presidential election.

Without mentioning President Donald Trump by name, Mr. Bush appeared to be pushing back on Mr. Trump’s decisions on immigration, as well as trying to have warmed relations with Russia.

“There’s pretty clear evidence that the Russians meddled. Whether they affected the outcome is another question.” Mr. Bush said in Abu Dhabi at a summit put on by the Milken Institute, an economic think tank based in California.

“It’s problematic”

Mr. Bush said that “it’s problematic that a foreign nation is involved in our election system. Our democracy is only as good as people trust the results.”

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded Russia meddled in the 2016 election to help Mr. Trump win. Numerous investigations are under way to determine whether Mr. Trump’s campaign aided the Kremlin in its efforts.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly denied any “collusion” with Russia.

“Putin zero-sum”

Speaking of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mr. Bush called him “zero-sum.” “He’s got a chip on his shoulder.The reason he does is because the demise of Soviet Union troubles him. Therefore, much of his moves [are] to regain Soviet hegemony,” he said.

‘NATO important’

Mr. Bush stressed need to back NATO and other alliances the U.S. has with in the world. Mr. Putin “is pushing, constantly pushing, probing weaknesses,” he said. “That’s why NATO is very important.”

Mr. Bush, who became the first sitting U.S. President to visit the UAE in 2008, said the U.S. needed to reform its immigration law.

Mr. Milken, a prostate cancer survivor, and his family have given hundreds of millions of dollars away in recent decades. Forbes magazine estimates  Mr. Milken (71) is now worth some $3.6 billion.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 11:30:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/george-w-bush-says-russia-meddled-in-2016-us-election/article22691032.ece

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