Former President Barack Obama (D) can reportedly be heard slamming President Donald Trump’s coronavirus response efforts and the dropping of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s case in a leaked phone call.
Tape of the phone call, which obtained by Yahoo News, captures a conversation between Obama and former members of his administration.
The former president discussed the Flynn case, expressing his concern about the abandonment of the case.
On Thursday, the U.S, Department of Justice dropped its criminal case against Flynn. He initially pleaded guilty of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but he then sought to withdraw his plea this year.
“The news over the last 24 hours I think has been somewhat downplayed. … 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. 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.”
Listen to an excerpt of Obama’s call below:
Obama went on to discuss the upcoming election and the sense of urgency he feels to ensure President Donald Trump is not re-elected.
“I am hoping that all of you feel the same sense of urgency that I do. Whenever I campaign, I’ve always said, ‘Ah, this is the most important election,’ especially obviously when I was on the ballot, that always feels like it’s the most important election,” Obama said. “This one — I’m not on the ballot — but I am pretty darn invested. We got to make this happen.”
“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. 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. And by the way, we’re seeing that internationally as well.”
The former president also shared his opinion of the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, describing it as an “anemic,” “spotty,” and an “absolute chaotic disaster”
“It’s part of the reason why the response to this global crisis has been so anemic and spotty,” the former president said. “It would have been bad even with the best of governments. 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.”
Despite mounting criticism, the rising number of coronavirus cases, and the staggering death toll, on many occasions, Trump has insisted his administration has done a “great job.”
As of Saturday morning, there are more than 1.3 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States with the death toll over 78,600.