Bush promotes new book, reflects on painting and the press

Former President George W. Bush holds a copy of his new book during a press preview of an exhibition of his paintings of U.S. military veterans in Dallas, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. The book titled, "Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief's Tribute to America's Warriors," features paintings of U.S. military veterans by their former Commander In Chief. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

NEW YORK (AP) — Former President George W. Bush says he didn’t intend to criticize President Donald Trump when he said recently that a free press is essential to democracy

Speaking by telephone Tuesday with The Associated Press, Bush said he was simply responding to a reporter’s question about the role of journalism. Trump has referred to the press as the “enemy of the people,” but Bush said Tuesday that it’s important to hold people in power “to account.” He called his own relationship with the media “symbiotic,” with the media needing a story and the president needing to get his message out.

Bush is promoting his new book, “Portraits of Courage,” a volume of his paintings of military veterans. The book, officially published Tuesday, is No. 1 on Amazon.com.

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