Former President George W. Bush leaves after the Presidential Inauguration at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2017. Reuters

Former President George W. Bush said in an interview Monday he disliked the racial tensions flamed by President Donald Trump’s presidency, breaking his longtime stance against speaking out publically about any of his successors since he left the Oval Office eight years ago. “Yes, I don’t like the racism and I don’t like the name-calling and I don’t like people feeling alienated,” he told “People” magazine Monday. "Nobody likes that.”

Monday’s interview took place in Bush’s painting studio of his Dallas home to launch his art book, “Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors.” The collection of the pictures is of wounded soldiers of America's war on terror in hopes to raise awareness and funds for the post-9/11 veterans' health care and employment programs of the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

Bush's wife Laura also accompanied him in the interview. They spoke about Trump's Jan. 20 inauguration, adding that it was their sixth one.

“First of all, we were thrilled to be there. It’s a beautiful ceremony, it really is. It’s a peaceful transfer of power, which is very reassuring," Bush said. He also added that he doesn't have the urge to step up or play any leadership role in regards to Trump's presidency.

“No. When President (Barack) Obama got elected, friends would call and say ‘You must speak out! You must do this, you must do that’. Turns out, other people are doing the same thing this time. I didn’t feel like speaking out before because I didn’t want to complicate the job and I’m not going to this time. However, at the Bush Center, we are speaking up.”

He further said he was quite "optimistic" about the future of the country. “We’ve been through these periods before and we’ve always had a way to come out of it. I’m more optimistic than some."

The former president also spoke about Trump's immigration ban and the president distaste for the press on Monday's "Today Show" saying that free press was "indispensable to democracy."

"We need an independent media to hold people like me to account," Bush told TODAY'S Matt Lauer. As far as his stance on Trump's immigration policy that banned immigrants from seven majority- Muslim nations, Bush said, "I am for an immigration policy that is welcoming and upholds the law."