Barack Obama appeared to take aim at Donald Trump in a discussion this weekend, saying that “leaders who feed fear typically are also ones who avoid facts” during an event honoring the memory of Nelson Mandela.
The event took place in Washington on Saturday, just miles from where the White House Correspondents’ Dinner was being held. The National Museum of African American History was hosting a celebration for the centennial of Nelson Mandela’s birth, and Obama spoke about how the next generations can continue on the legacy of the beloved world leader, Axios noted. He also appeared to take aim at Trump in the speech for stoking fear.
A video of parts of Obama’s speech hit the internet on Sunday, showing what appeared to be a veiled shot at Donald Trump. In the short clip, Obama takes aim at dishonest leaders who feed in the fear of Americans — two common points of criticism Obama has taken toward the current president.
Last year, Obama took aim at Trump in a speech in Illinois while on the campaign trail for Democrats ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. Speaking to students at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, Obama said that Trump was cashing in on the fear that Republicans had been stoking with voters for many years beforehand.
“It did not start with Donald Trump, he is a symptom, not the cause,” Obama said, via CNN.
“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.”
Obama also spoke out against Trump on a number of other times, especially during the campaign trail.
Barack Obama: "Leaders who feed fear typically are also ones who avoid facts."— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 28, 2019
Via The Hill pic.twitter.com/bCCvcg0v5Q
Barack Obama: "There is always a struggle between hope and fear, between the world as it is and how we'd like it to be... The good news is that fear is typically the province of the old. And hope is the province of the young."— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 28, 2019
Via The Hill pic.twitter.com/Ivokw9BWlT
Obama’s criticism came at a time when Democrats are split over whether to pursue impeachment proceedings against Trump for the results of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report. While the report cleared Trump on charges that his campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign, it laid out a series of actions that Trump took in attempts to thwart the investigation. Mueller’s report stopped short of recommending charges against Trump, instead sending the issue back to Congress to decide.
Only 37% of Americans support impeachment.— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) April 27, 2019
Voters elect leaders to fix problems in their community and improve their daily lives – not endlessly investigate the opposing party.https://t.co/dpUa0ebVdZ
Some Democratic leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have been reluctant to move forward on impeachment, while others including Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren have openly called for impeachment. Barack Obama has not weighed in on whether Donald Trump should be impeached.