Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) ripped former President Obama for speaking out against the current administration, something rarely done in recent years.
McConnell (R-KY) appeared on Monday’s episode of “Team Trump Online!” with host Lara Trump, the Trump campaign’s senior adviser, and responded to Obama’s attacks against President Trump revealed in leaked audio of a Friday phone call. McConnell said Obama’s criticisms violated a tradition that former President George W. Bush had respected during the Obama administration.
“You know, generally former presidents just don’t do that. I remember President George W. Bush and his father went right through eight years of Democratic administrations after they left office and kept their mouths shut because they didn’t feel it was appropriate for former presidents to critique even the president of another party,” McConnell said.
“I think President Obama should have kept his mouth shut, you know. We know he doesn’t like much this administration is doing. That’s understandable, but I think it’s a little bit classless, frankly, to critique an administration that comes after you,” he continued. “You had your shot. You were there for eight years. I think the tradition that the Bushs set up of not critiquing the president that comes after you is a good tradition.”
In a Friday phone call with thousands of alumni of his administration, Obama slammed Trump’s coronavirus response while defending his administration’s decision to move forward with an investigation of Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Trump’s Department of Justice dropped perjury charges against Flynn last week after unsealed FBI documents revealed the investigation into Flynn was based on meager evidence.
“The fact that there is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free, 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,” Obama said, referring to Flynn’s case.
Attorney General William Barr said that the FBI’s Jan. 24, 2017 interview with Flynn, which became the basis to charge Flynn with lying to the FBI, was actually a “perjury trap” top FBI officials had set up to get Flynn. Barr dropped the case based off the recommendation of U.S. district attorney Jeffrey Jensen, whom Barr assigned to review the case in February.
Obama also called the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic an “absolute chaotic disaster” and later blamed Trump for exacerbating political division in the country.
“It would have been bad even with the best of governments,” Obama claimed. “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.”
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