In an interview on NBC’s Today show on Monday, Mr Bush said he would trust Senate Intelligence panel Chairman Richard Burr to decide if a special prosecutor is necessary.
But Mr Bush said: “I think we all need answers … I’m not sure the right avenue to take. I am sure, though, that that question needs to be answered.”
Asked if he supported Mr Trump’s controversial executive order on immigration, Mr Bush said: “I am for an immigration policy that is welcoming and upholds the law.”
The former Republican leader also defended the media’s role in keeping leaders in check, saying a free press was “indispensable to democracy.”
“We needed the media to hold people like me to account,” Mr Bush said. “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.”
He added: “It’s kind of hard to tell others to have an independent, free press when we’re not willing to have one ourselves.”
Former US President George W. Bush says he wants answers on Donald Trump’s alleged links to Russia. Picture: Today Source:Supplied Visit TODAY.com for the latest news, videos, easy recipes, inspiring stories and more.
A Cambodian government official says Mr Trump’s attacks on the media are an inspiration to his own country to observe limits on freedom of expression.
Cabinet spokesman Phay Siphan warned media companies, including specifically two radio outlets funded by the US government, that Cambodian authorities might have to act against them if their reporting threatens the country’s stability.
All major media outlets inside Cambodia are already supportive of the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has held power for three decades. One of Hun Sen’s daughters owns a popular television network.
Cambodia’s media is supportive of Prime Minister Hun Sen. Picture: AP Photo/Heng Sinith
Phay Siphan posted comments over the weekend on his Facebook page saying that Mr Trump had sent a clear message that the reports of some professional journalists did not reflect reality.
He said Mr Trump meant that “freedom of expression must respect the law and the authority of the state, including the state’s responsibility for the interests of the people keeping the country at peace.”
Phay Siphan warned three popular radio stations — the local Voice of Democracy and the US government-funded Radio Free Asia and Voice of America — along with unspecified other media that they should “reconsider their use of airtime and publishing” or risk having the government take action in response to their alleged exaggerations, incitements and threats to stability and peace.
As the Oscars was underway, Mr Trump was toasting America’s governors at a black-tie ball at the White House.
Mr Trump welcomed 46 state leaders and their spouses to the annual Governors’ Ball on Sunday evening, the first major social event of his administration.
The president congratulated first lady Melania Trump on the elegant candlelit event in the State Dining Room, telling the audience, “The room, they say, has never looked better, but who knows.”
During his toast, the president noted his Monday meeting with the governors at the White House, saying, “Perhaps health care will come up,” a nod to the effort in Congress to repeal and replace the sweeping health care law installed under President Barack Obama.
US President Donald Trump offers a toast during the annual Governors’ Dinner at the White House. Picture: AFP/Nicholas Kamm
Mr Trump saluted the nation’s governors, joking that “it’s such an easy job you have.”
Despite some of the turmoil at the start of his administration and legal challenges to his executive order temporarily banning travellers from seven predominantly Muslim countries, Mr Trump told the governors he had already made strides.
“I can say that after four weeks — it’s been a lot of fun — but we’ve accomplished almost everything we’ve started out to accomplish. The borders are stricter, tighter,” Mr Trump said, praising the work of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.
He added: “We’re very happy with the way things are working but, again, we’ve made a lot of promises over the last two years and many of those promises already are kept so we’re very honoured by that.”
President Donald Trump walks towards first lady Melania Trump, left, after speaking at a dinner reception at the annual National Governors Association winter meeting. Picture: AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta