George W. Bush: Russians 'Meddled' in 2016 Election; Unclear They Changed Outcome

Russian president Vladimir Putin

Russian president Vladimir Putin

Former U.S. President George W. Bush, who headed the White House from 2001 to 2009, said on Thursday in Abu Dhabi at the summit of the U.S. think tank summit Milken Institute that dealing with Russia's incumbent President Vladimir Putin was a "zero-sum game", Abu Dhabi daily The National reported.

In addition to commenting on Russia, Bush also discussed immigration.

Bush said it wasn't clear if Russia's "meddling" directly affected the election, though he said it was clear they tried.

"He's got a chip on his shoulder", Bush said of Putin.

Mr Bush also stressed the need to back North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and other alliances the U.S. has with the world.

"Putin is a brilliant tactician who has the capacity to detect weakness and exploit it", Bush said.

Bush's comments come amid several investigations to determine whether Trump's presidential campaign colluded with Russian Federation during the election.

"The reason he does is because the demise of the Soviet Union troubles him". "That's why North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is very important".

He also criticized Trump's decision to end an Obama-era program that allowed undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children to remain in the country and advocated for a permanent fix to keep them, according to the AP.

"There are people willing to do jobs Americans won't do".

"He can't think, 'How can we both win?' He only thinks, 'How do I win, you lose?'" he said.

"America is their home, " Bush said, referring to recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, more commonly known as "dreamers".

Bush in 2008 became the first sitting US president to visit the UAE.

Milken reached an agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States (SEC) that included a lifelong disqualification of the sector and a fine of 200 million dollars.

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