Former President George W. Bush says "we all need answers" on the extent of contact between President Donald Trump's team and the Russian government.

In an interview on NBC's Today show on Monday US time), Bush said he would trust Senate Intelligence panel Chairman Richard Burr to decide if a special prosecutor is necessary.

But Bush said: "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."

Matt and Savannah interview former president George W. Bush

WATCH: Matt and Savannah are talking live with George W. Bush, and four veterans profiled in the former president's new book "Portraits of Courage."

Posted by Today Show on Monday, 27 February 2017

Asked if he supported Trump's controversial executive order on immigration, Bush said: "I am for an immigration policy that is welcoming and upholds the law."

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The former Republican leader also defended the media's role in keeping leaders in check, saying a free press was "indispensable to democracy."

"We needed the media to hold people like me to account," Bush said. "Power can be very addictive and it can be corrosive, and it's important for the media to call to account people who abuse their power."

He added: "It's kind of hard to tell others to have an independent, free press when we're not willing to have one ourselves."

President Donald Trump's controversial attacks on the media were discussed in the Today show interview. Photo / AP
President Donald Trump's controversial attacks on the media were discussed in the Today show interview. Photo / AP