Bush on Putin 2001 and 2014
As juxtaposed by James W. Wilkie for Elitelore
“I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialog. I was able to get a sense of his soul.”
From an otherwise useless source:
Bush statement on Putin in interview by Jack Tapper, May 1, 2014
In 2012, New York magazine reported that the former President Bush is pushing back on the idea that he had “misjudged” Putin, with whom he shared a rather close relationship early in his administration.
Shortly after taking office in 2001, Bush famously proclaimed Putin “straightforward and trustworthy,” saying he was able “get a sense of the soul” of the former KGB agent.
“I think [Putin] changed,” Bush told Tapper. “And of course, a president should open the door and give people a chance, except for the despicable tyrants. And he was not, at that time, he was — he looked like he wanted to be, you know, work with the West… And then price of oil went up. And Vladimir Putin changed.”
The spike in the price of oil, which brought a massive influx of cash into both Russia and Putin’s personal coffers, “emboldened him to follow in his game that pretty much zero-sum, you know, I win and you lose and vice versa,” Bush said.
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