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George W Bush prays for 'success of our new President'

Credit: PA

Former President George W Bush called Donald Trump to congratulate him on his victory in the US elections.

In a statement, Mr Bush said he was praying "for the success of our country and the success of our new President."

Like his father, George HW Bush, Mr Bush had not endorsed Mr Trump as the Republican presidential nominee.

"This morning I called President-elect Donald Trump and congratulated him on his election as President of the United States of America. Laura and I wish the President-elect, Melania, and the entire Trump family all our very best as they take on an awesome responsibility and begin an exciting new chapter in their lives. We pray for the success of our country and the success of our new President."

– George W Bush

Mr Bush and his wife Laura were forced to issue a statement denying they had voted for Hillary Clinton after Florida radio presenter, Rush Limbaugh, accused them of voting for the Democrat candidate.

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Bush: The world is a better place without Saddam

Across the Atlantic, the findings of the Iraq Inquiry have been poured over by those involved in the planning of the war and its execution. In a statement President Bush said he still believes the world is a better place without Saddam Hussein.

The man Mr Bush chose to run Iraq hit back at criticism in the Chilcot report that Iraq's army should not have been disbanded. Paul Bremer told ITV News he stands by his decision.

Washington Correspondent Robert Moore reports on America's response:

Bush 'has not read Chilcot' but 'world is better off'

Former President George Bush has not read the Chilcot report but has said he continues to believe "the whole world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power".

George Bush was "hosting wounded warriors" at his ranch and "has not had a chance" to read the report, his spokesman said.

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In a statement given to ITV News, Mr Bush's spokesman said: "President Bush is hosting wounded warriors at his ranch today and has not had the chance to read the Chilcot report.

"Despite the intelligence failures and other mistakes he has acknowledged previously, President Bush continues to believe the whole world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power.

"He is deeply grateful for the service and sacrifice of American and coalition forces in the war on terror. And there was no stronger ally than the United Kingdom under the leadership of Prime Minister Tony Blair. President Bush believes we must now find the unity and resolve to stay on the offensive and defeat radical extremism wherever it exists."

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Questions over Bush's knowledge of CIA interrogation

A piercing light, shone into the darkest corners of American intelligence techniques, has revealed that CIA torture carried out after 9/11 produced no results. A report for the Senate said interrogation techniques were more brutal than the agency admitted and that the CIA had misled the president, politicians and the public. There are also questions over how much George Bush knew about the what was going on at the CIA during his Presidency.

ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore reports:

Major urges Blair to intervene on Chilcot disclosures

Tony Blair could intervene to ensure exchanges he had with George Bush in the run-up to the Iraq war are fully disclosed, Sir John Major has said.

Sir John Major said it was down to Labour or Mr Blair to approach the Cabinet Office and give the go-ahead for the papers to be released. Credit: PA

The Chilcot Inquiry, which is looking into the decision to go to war, has reached a deal to publish the "gists" of the two leaders' communications.

But the Conservative former prime minister urged Mr Blair and Labour to consider giving permission for full disclosure, warning that revealing only partial extracts would allow suspicions about what took place to "fester and maybe worsen".

Sir John said there were "strict rules" preventing the current Government from getting involved, but that "withholding them is going to be very embarrassing for Tony Blair, not least of course because he brought the Freedom of Information Act into law when he was in government."

John Major: Iraq papers decision 'embarrassing' for Blair

Former Prime Minister Sir John Major has said the decision to withhold some of the correspondence about the Iraq war will be "very embarrassing" for Tony Blair.

Sir John Major told Radio 4's Today programme: “I think it is a pity the papers are going to be withheld for several reasons. Firstly, they will leave suspicions unresolved and those suspicions will fester and maybe worsen."

He also argued that the ruling ran counter to Mr Blair's actions to make government more transparent.

"And secondly, in many ways I think withholding them is going to be very embarrassing for Mr Blair, not least of course because he brought in the Freedom of Information Act into law when he was in government."

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