“Vladimir’s a person who in many ways views the US as an enemy,” Bush said in an interview with NBC.
“And although he wouldn’t say that, I felt that he viewed the world as either the US benefits and Russia loses or vice-versa. I tried of course to dispel him of that notion,” he added.
The former president made the remarks as he is unveiling a painting exhibit on Saturday that features some of his paintings of the world leaders, including Putin, Politico reported.
“I met with him a lot during the presidency,” Bush said. “I got to know him very well. I had a good relationship throughout, it became more tense as time went on.”
Relations between the United States and Russia have been strained during the past weeks after the crisis in Ukraine.
Washington is putting its weight behind the new government in Ukraine after the country’s ousted president Viktor Yanukovych travelled to Russia.
Imposing sanctions against Moscow by US President Barack Obama over the crisis also deteriorated the relations between the two world powers.