5 Controversial Things Obama Did That No One Cared About Until Trump Did Something Similar

REUTERS/Joe Skipper/Carlos Barria

President Donald Trump is no stranger to controversy. From the southern border to the press, it seems as though there are very few issues from his presidency that haven’t sat under a cloud of hysterics.

Former President Barack Obama had a much different tone following his presidency, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have controversy. He even said, “I didn’t have scandals, which seems like it shouldn’t be something you brag about.”

But that isn’t really true. Obama had several scandals that were unique to him. He had the “Fast and Furious” scandal when the Department of Justice sold guns to Mexico. He sent a mountain of cash to Iran without explanation. His IRS discriminated against Tea Party groups.

The list goes on.

In fact, many of the moves Obama made as president are similar to those of President Trump, but he didn’t face the backlash.

Here are the top five times people were outraged by Trump for something Obama did, too.

1. Press relations

Trump’s clashes with the press have been one of the biggest issues for his presidency thus far. The White House has had a very contentious relationship with the press, even temporarily banning CNN’s Jim Acosta from using his hard pass to enter the building.

Obama, on the other hand, often slammed Fox News as illegitimate. The Obama administration threatened to bar the entire organization from attending interviews and bragged about keeping them out of round-robin interviews in emails.

Obama even went as far as having the FBI investigate unfriendly reporters. For two months, the FBI obtained records from phone lines assigned to the Associated Press, per the Washington Post.

2. Russian relations

Trump’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin has been highly scrutinized as too friendly, but Obama’s relationship with Russia had its own questionable moments.

During a hot mic moment, Obama promised Russian officials that he would “have more flexibility” for them after he won re-election.

3. Tear gas at the border

The images that came out of the clash between the migrant caravan and law enforcement caught the ire of many Americans who were quick to condemn Trump for the use of tear gas at the border.

A migrant family, part of a caravan of thousands traveling from Central America en route to the United States, run away from tear gas in front of the border wall between the U.S and Mexico in Tijuana, Mexico November 25, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

But as IJR previously reported, Obama used tear gas several times at the border and almost no one cared. In fact, tear gas was deployed almost monthly under the former president.

4. Family separation at the border

Perhaps the most blatant example of outrage at Trump for something the Obama administration did was the family separation policy at the border.

Trump was smeared by a report from AZ Central showing children sleeping in cages at the border. The only problem was that the report was from 2014.

No one was more excited by the outrage slip-up than Trump.

Although the outrage may have been sparked by an image from the Obama presidency, that doesn’t mean the scandal subsided for Trump, as it is still one of his biggest controversies largely because the president doubled down on the policy.

5. Deportation

Deportation is a complex issue. When Trump promised to continue deporting illegal immigrants, many people turned to hysterics. Several outlets ran anecdotal stories about the horrors of deportation.

However, Trump has deported nowhere near as many people as Obama deported. In fact, Trump has deported half as many illegal immigrants as Obama did in his peak years.

Although “Obama did it, too” is not a justification for any bad policy, it does make it clear that President Trump has been under a lot more criticism than his Democratic predecessor.

What do you think?

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Bob Wilke

It is so instructive that Trump goes directly to the American people with his Tweets, bypassing the reporting media due to their bias. TRUNO 2020.

Stephen Johnson

“Although “Obama did it, too” is not a justification for any bad policy, it does make it clear that President Trump has been under a lot more criticism than his Democratic predecessor.” And the reason why couldn’t be any clearer. One is black the other is white Even blacks stated in 2008 that if Obama was white, Hillary would have been our president. Need I say more?


This goes both ways.

Obama can’t be a weak loser who wants open borders in terms of immigration, yet have done everything the same (or even more so) as President Trump.

If both sides threw out the talking points and fear mongering then we would likely be very close in terms of ideal immigration policy (extreme crazies left and right not included).


Thank you very much, Madison. This comparison is long overdue. Also, your last paragraph pretty much sums it up.

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