Obama calls out Trump’s response to pandemic: ‘Chaotic disaster’
The comments were leaked from a private call with the Obama Alumni Association, a group that used to work with the former president
In a private call obtained by Yahoo News, former President Barack Obama made his strongest criticism yet of the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It would have been bad even with the best of governments,” Obama said privately. “It has been an absolute chaotic disaster when that mindset — of ‘what’s in it for me’ and ‘to heck with everybody else’ — when that mindset is operationalized in our government.”
The comments were made during a 30-minute call with the Obama Alumni Association, a group of former Obama staffers. The former POTUS spoke with the group to encourage them to become more engaged with the presidential campaign of Joe Biden —the presumptive Democratic nominee.
“This election that’s coming up — on every level — is so important because what we’re going to be battling is not just a particular individual or a political party,” Obama urged. “What we’re fighting against is these long-term trends in which being selfish, being tribal, being divided, and seeing others as an enemy — that has become a stronger impulse in American life.”
The comments are the clearest and harshest that Obama has been in response to the federal government’s handling of the pandemic.
Obama told the group that he plans to be heavily active in campaigning for Biden saying, “I am hoping that all of you feel the same sense of urgency that I do.”
The former president also addressed the recent decision by the Department of Justice to drop all charges against former National Security adviser, Michael Flynn.
“And the fact that there is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free,” he said, “That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that basic — not just institutional norms — but our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk. And when you start moving in those directions, it can accelerate pretty quickly as we’ve seen in other places.”