Former President George W. Bush warns that Russian leader Vladimir Putin will “push and push and push until someone stands up to him.”
Bush made the comments on “Ellen,” in response to President Donald Trump’s suggestions that the U.S. could pursue warmer relations with Russia. Last year, intelligence officials concluded that Russia interfered in the presidential election with the goal of helping Trump get elected. Many in Washington, D.C., have pushed for a probe into Trump administration’s ties to Russia.
Bush warned that it’s dangerous to appease the Russian president.
“I had a contentious relationship with him and I think whoever the president is, is going to find out that Putin will push and push and push until someone stands up to him,” Bush told Ellen DeGeneres on the show broadcast Thursday.
Bush told a story about introducing his late dog, Barney, to Putin. Bush said when he introduced the small pooch to Putin, the Russian president was not impressed. About a year later, the Bushes were with Putin in Russia and the Russian leader introduced the couple to his dog, which was a gigantic hound.
“Putin looks at me and says, ‘Bigger, stronger, and faster than Barney.’ And you know, it speaks volumes when you listen to what somebody says,” Bush said. “So, in other words, he’s got a chip on his shoulder.”
The 43rd president spoke critically of Trump in an interview with People magazine earlier this week.