George W. Bush reveals the advice he'd give President Trump if asked

If President Donald Trump were to call George W. Bush to ask for advice, how would the 43rd president respond? He'd start with a simple message: Good luck.

"I'd say the same advice I gave before: It's a really hard job and I wish you all the best," Bush told Willie Geist on Sunday TODAY.

"It depends on what he asked," he added.

RELATED: George W. Bush attends Trump's inauguration

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George W. Bush attends Trump's inauguration
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George W. Bush attends Trump's inauguration

Former President George W. Bush arrives for the 58th U.S. Presidential Inauguration where Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America in Washington, USA on January 20, 2017.

(Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Former first lady Rosalynn Carter, Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, former first lady Hillary Clinton, and former President George W. Bush attend the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Former President George W. Bush keeps covered under the rain during the inauguration ceremonies swearing in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

Former U.S. President George W. Bush embraces Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarance Thomas during the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Former Presidents Jimmy Carter (R) speaks hands with George W. Bush, as former Vice President Dan Quayle looks on, at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and former President George W. Bush attend Donald Trump Inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and former President George W. Bush greet Michele Obama and Jill Biden at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. In today's inauguration ceremony Donald J. Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Former George W. Bush and his wife Laura Bush depart after inauguration ceremonies at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on January 20, 2017.

(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

President Obama greets President-elect Donald Trump as former president Bill Clinton, his wife Hillary, and former President George W Bush and his wife Laura look on at the inauguration ceremonies swearing in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

George and Laura Bush attend the inauguration ceremonies to swear in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

Former US President of the United States George W. Bush and his wife Laura Bush arrive at the Capitol Building before President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in at the 58th Presidential Inauguration on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., January 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Jack Gruber/Pool)

Hillary Clinton and former U.S. President George W. Bush talk before the inauguration of Donald Trump as 45th president of the United States in Washington, DC, U.S., January 20, 2017.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Former President George W. Bush, former first Lady Laura Bush, left, and Secretary Hillary Clinton, right are seen on the West Front of the Capitol before President Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, January 20, 2017. Former Vice President Dick Cheney, left, and his wife Lynne, also appear.

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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Noting that he wants to see Trump succeed in office, Bush offered this suggestion to the current commander-in-chief: "You picked some really good people. Empower them and make sure they're able to give you their unfettered advice."

RELATED: George W. Bush opens up on Trump's war with the media, travel ban, Russia and veterans

He named Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and national security adviser H.R. McMaster as three examples of the "really good people" Trump selected.

Bush has made a concerted effort not to criticize the presidents who have followed him: former President Obama and now President Trump, who's generated countless headlines with his executive order that restricted immigration from seven predominantly Muslim nations.

RELATED: George W. Bush on his friendship with Michelle Obama: 'We just took to each other'

Geist asked Bush to reflect on comments he made soon after the 9/11 attacks, in which he encouraged Americans to reach out to their Muslim brothers and sisters and embrace them. His message was one of tolerance, he told Geist.

"I believe freedom of religion is one of our bedrock principles, that people should be allowed to worship without the government telling them how they can worship," he said. "That we ought to honor people regardless of the religion they choose, or honor them if they choose no religion. That we're all equal."

During the interview, Bush shared the story behind his latest project: "Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief's Tribute to America's Warriors," his book of paintings honoring military veterans. To hear more from Bush about the book, his decision to send soldiers into Afghanistan and Iraq, and much more, watch the videos in this story.

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