Bush seeks answers on alleged Russian role in US elections

New York, Feb 28 (IANS) Former US President George W. Bush has called for “answers” regarding Russia’s alleged interference in the November 8 presidential elections.

“I think we all need answers,” efe news agency quoted Bush as saying in an interview with NBC.

“I’m not sure the right avenue to take. I am sure, though, that question needs to be answered,” Bush said, adding that he was not the proper person to ask regarding what specifically should be done in the investigation into the matter.

He said that Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr would be the person to select — if necessary — a special prosecutor to investigate Moscow’s apparent involvement in the election.

In the interview, Bush made no criticism of US President Donald Trump, despite having clearly distanced himself from the mogul during the campaign, not attending the Republican National Convention and announcing — through a spokesman — that he would not vote either for him or for Hillary Clinton in the election.

Democratic lawmakers and some Republicans believe that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should recuse himself from the investigation into Russian interference because he was a key figure in Trump’s campaign and, thus, lacks the independence needed to conduct such a probe.

The White House on Sunday did not rule out removing Sessions from the investigation but added that it was still too early to make a decision on whether or not to appoint a special prosecutor.

On February 17, the Senate Intelligence Committee sent a letter to the White House and several government agencies requesting that they preserve records of all communications with Russia for the investigation.

After the sending of the letter became public, Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, tried to downplay the matter, telling NBC, “As long as they do their job, and we cooperate with them, they’ll issue a report, and the report will say there’s nothing there.

He categorically denied any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials because, as he said, “top level people” in the US intelligence community had assured him that that did not occur.

Bush said that he had urged Russian President Vladimir Putin “to accept the notion of an independent press.”