The gloves are off.
Former President Barack Obama unloaded on President Donald Trump for bungling the coronavirus response, calling it an “absolute chaotic disaster.”
“The response to this global crisis has been so anemic and spotty,” Obama said in a Friday night conference call to a group of former staffers that was leaked online.
“It would have been bad even with the best of governments. It has been an absolute chaotic disaster (with) that mindset — of ‘what’s in it for me’ and ‘to heck with everybody else,’” he said.
Obama has mostly respected a tradition of not attacking his successor. But on Friday, he said Trump’s increasingly divisive approach to the pandemic demonstrates the importance of ousting him in the upcoming presidential election.
“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,” Obama said.
The comments were first reported by Yahoo News, which obtained an audio recording of the call.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany brushed off the criticism from Obama, praising Trump for his “unprecedented” response to the pandemic.
Obama also trashed Trump for dropping charges against former White House national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn, even though he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia.
“The rule of law is at risk,” the former president said on the call.
Obama used the Flynn case to urge his former team to support Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, the outlet reported.
“This one — I’m not on the ballot — but I am pretty darn invested. We got to make this happen,” he said.
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