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George W. Bush: Media essential to democracy

Former President George W. Bush on Monday said the media is an essential component to democracy, arguing it is necessary to hold the government accountable. 

“I consider the media to be indispensable to democracy. … Power can be very addictive,” he told NBC’s “Today."

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The comments come amid increased tensions between the press and the White House.

On Friday, several news outlets were barred from a question-and-answer briefing with press secretary Sean Spicer.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFlynn to campaign for Montana GOP Senate candidate Trump considering pardon for boxing legend after call from Sylvester Stallone Decline in EPA enforcement won't keep climate bill from coming MORE, speaking earlier that day at the Conservative Political Action Conference, attacked members of the press.

“I called the fake news the enemy of the people,” Trump said. “They are the enemy of the people, because they have no sources. They just make them up when there are none.”

Bush during his Monday appearance advocated for an independent press.

“We need an independent media to hold people like me to account,” he said.