TODAY   |  April 04, 2014

Putin to Bush: My dog is bigger, stronger than yours

In an exclusive interview with TODAY’s Jenna Bush Hager, the former president describes his working relationship with the Russian president.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> portrait aims to capture the unique personalities with whom he served.

>> putin .

>> tlad mir putin , yeaoou vladimir putin , it became more tense as time went on. vladimir's a person who in many ways views the u.s. as an enemy. and although he wouldn't say that, i felt that he viewed the world as either the u.s. benefits and russia loses or vice versa . i tried to dispel him of that notion.

>> you could tell from the very beginning that he was interested in power. and there's an anecdote you've written about that's symbolic about.

>> as you know, our dear dog barney had a special spot in my heart. i introduced him to putin , putin kind of dissed him. you call that a dog? a year later, your mom and i go to visit and he'd say you like to meet my dog? out bounds this huge hound. and putin says bigger, stronger and faster than barney.

>> and you kind of thought, is this symbolic.

>> i took it in. i didn't react. wow, anybody who thinks my dog is bigger than your dog is an interesting character. and that painting