On Friday night, former President Barack Obama delivered a blistering rebuke of Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus crisis, describing it as “an absolute chaotic disaster.” Obama also warned that “the rule of law was at risk” in the United States after Attorney General William Barr’s decision to drop the criminal case against Michael Flynn.
The searing comments came during a private call Friday night with people who worked in his administration, Yahoo News reports.
During the call, the former president said the response to the coronavirus outbreak served as a critical reminder for why strong government leadership is needed during a global crisis. The call was intended to encourage former Obama staffers to become more engaged in Biden’s presidential campaign.
“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,” Obama said. “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.”
But Obama saved his strongest words for the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus crisis and its worldview.
“It’s part of the reason why the response to this global crisis has been so anemic and spotty,” Obama 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.”
He added: “That’s why, I, by the way, am going to be spending as much time as necessary and campaigning as hard as I can for Joe Biden.”