People is covering Barack and Michelle Obama and how they are adjusting to life outside of the White House. In that coverage, the magazine quoted two friends of the former president who claimed that Obama had some harsh words for Donald Trump when he got an election night phone call.
According to the two friends, Obama didn’t mince words when it came to the way Trump switched from having heckled and criticized Obama through his entire presidency to offering words of praise and admiration. “He’s nothing but a bullsh–ter,” Obama allegedly said.
When asked how Obama’s assessment of the president had changed since Trump took office, one of the friends said, “Well, it hasn’t gotten any better.”
A third source also told People that Obama was watching the political situation since the election closely, saying, “He’s deeply concerned with what he’s seen. But he’s also optimistic and heartened that citizens aren’t just watching it happen but engaging with neighbors and elected representatives at town halls.”
However, Obama has been careful to publicly maintain the tradition that former presidents have long had of not criticizing the current occupant of the White House.
“He’s very respectful of the appropriate role of a former president and that ex-presidents should not be looking over the shoulder of their successors and commenting on every decision,” said Obama’s long-time friend and political strategist David Axelrod. “Obviously, this now is a unique set of circumstances, but my sense is that he’s going to try and respect that tradition while reserving the right to speak out in given moments when things rise to that level.”