Donald Trump claims to have fallen asleep during a Barack Obama speech in which the former president heavily criticized the current administration. USA Today reports that Trump made the statement at a fundraiser in North Dakota.
“I’m sorry, I watched it, but I fell asleep. I found he’s very good, very good for sleeping,” he said. “Isn’t this much more excited than listening to President Obama speak? Because we get things done.”
On Friday, Barack Obama made an unprecedented move for a former president by openly criticizing the sitting president for his policy decisions. In a speech to an audience of students at the University of Illinois, Obama said that Trump is tapping into fear and resentment that’s rooted in the darker aspects of American history, CNN reports.
“It did not start with Donald Trump, he is a symptom, not the cause,” Obama said. “He is just capitalizing on resentment that politicians have been fanning for years. A fear, an anger that is rooted in our past but is also borne in our enormous upheavals that have taken place in your brief lifetimes.”
The 44th president also questioned why Trump couldn’t openly condemn Nazis after the Charlottesville alt-right demonstrations last year. A counter-protester was killed, but Trump, in his initial comments about the incident, said that there were “bad people” on both sides.
“We are supposed to stand up to discrimination and we are sure as heck to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers,” Obama said of Trump’s response. “How hard can that be, saying that Nazis are bad?”
He also had some words for the administration’s treatment of the FBI and the Department of Justice. Obama then referenced Trump’s treatment of his Attorney General Jeff Sessions because of his decision to recuse himself from investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
“It should not be Democratic or Republican, it should not be partisan to say that we don’t pressure the Department of Justice or the FBI to use the criminal justice system as a cudgel to punish our political opponents,” Obama added. “Or to explicitly call for the attorney general to protect members of own party from prosecution because elections happen to be coming up. I am not making that up. That is not hypothetical.”
According to CNN, the Republican National Committee has accused Obama of “dismissing” the political will of the millions of Americans who voted for Donald Trump.
“2016 is over, but President Obama is still dismissing the millions of voters across the country who rejected a continuation of his policies in favor of President Trump’s plan for historic tax cuts, new jobs, and economic growth,” the statement from the RNC said.
They went on to call Obama the “resistor-in-chief” and said that the speech was just the Democratic Party’s attempt to sway votes in the midterm elections in November.