George W. Bush: We need answers on Trump team ties to Russia

Former President George W. Bush insisted Monday that “we all need answers” about possible connections between Russian officials and President Trump's associates.

"I think we all need answers. ... I'm not sure the right avenue to take. I am sure, though, that that question needs to be answered,” Bush said to NBC's "Today" host Matt Lauer.

U.S. intelligence agencies believe Russian hackers attempted to sway the election for Trump, while multiple news reports say that Trump campaign officials had "constant" contact with Russian intelligence during the election.

Bush said he trusted Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrOvernight Cybersecurity: House Intel votes to release Russia report | House lawmakers demand Zuckerberg testify | Senators unveil updated election cyber bill Senators introduced revised version of election cyber bill Overnight Cybersecurity: Zuckerberg breaks silence on Cambridge Analytica | Senators grill DHS chief on election security | Omnibus to include election cyber funds | Bill would create 'bug bounty' for State MORE (R-N.C.), the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to select a special prosecutor to investigate the possible ties between Russian officials and Trump’s team.

Bush contrasted with Trump's frequent attacks on the press, calling a free press “indispensable to democracy.” 

“We need an independent media to hold people like me to account. Power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive,” Bush says.

“One of the things I spent a lot of time doing was trying to convince people like [Russian President] Vladimir Putin, for example, to accept the notion of an independent press," he continues. 

"And it's kind of hard to tell others to have an independent, free press when we're not willing to have one ourselves."