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Obama Attacks Trump And His Administration’s Legal Troubles in Scorching Diatribe



You don’t often hear former presidents attack their predecessors, especially not less than 2 years into an administration, but Barack Obama did not shy away from criticizing the Trump Administration yesterday.

In a 50 minute discussion to mark the 25th anniversary of Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, Obama shared the stage with James Baker, the former White House Chief of Staff and Secretary of the Treasury under President Ronald Reagan, and Secretary of State and White House Chief of Staff under President George H. W. Bush. While the discussion was very bipartisan in nature, Obama did refer several times to Trump and his administration without specifically mentioning them by name.

“Not only did I not get indicted, nobody in my administration got indicted,” Obama affirmed, “which by the way was the only administration in modern history that that can be said about. In fact, nobody came close to being indicted, partly because the people who joined us were there for the right reasons. We were there to serve.”

The remarks come a day after it was revealed that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had broken the terms of his plea deal by lying to federal investigators. Manafort is just one of multiple indictments, guilty pleas and convictions that former Trump campaign associates have found themselves facing.

Obama also lambasted the insular nationalism in US politics and the great political divide among the US media.

In previous decades, Obama noted, “there was a common set of facts, a baseline around which both parties had to adapt and respond to. By the time I take office [in 2009] what you increasingly have is a media environment in which if you are a Fox News viewer you have an entirely different reality than if you are a New York Times reader. It means the bases of each party have become more ideological.”

While it may not be part of the norm to speak out against a predecessor in the White House, many would argue that the Trump presidency is anything but a part of the norm.