During a live stream for the Trump campaign on Monday night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called out former President Barack Obama for his comments about the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, CNN reported. McConnell told President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, that he thought Obama “should have kept his mouth shut.”
The Senate majority leader continued to criticize Obama, saying that it wasn’t the place of the former president to criticize the next administration, per CNN.
“I think it’s a little bit classless, frankly, to critique an administration that comes after you. You had your shot, you were there for eight years. I think the tradition that the Bush’s set up — of not critiquing the president who comes after you — is a good tradition.”
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says former President Barack Obama “should have kept his mouth shut,” following reports Obama called the Trump administration’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic “a chaotic disaster.” pic.twitter.com/jzUbDl56JB— DJ Judd (@DJJudd) May 12, 2020
McConnell didn’t specify which comments of Obama’s he was referring to, per The Hill. The former president has criticized the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic a few times over the past few weeks.
Last week, the contents of a private call between Obama and some former White House colleagues were leaked. The purpose of the call was to get some of his former staffers more involved in the Biden campaign, according to CNN. During the call, the former president cited the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic as a demonstration of the impact weak leadership has during a global crisis. He called their response “an absolute chaotic disaster.”
Obama also appeared to take a shot at the administration in an April tweet, The Hill reported.
“While we continue to wait for a coherent national plan to navigate this pandemic, states like Massachusetts are beginning to adopt their own public health plans to combat this virus––before it’s too late,” he wrote. He also linked to an article published in The New Yorker outlining the plan for testing and contact tracing Massachusetts had been developing.
According to CNN, the harsh criticism goes against the former president’s typical tradition of not commenting on the actions of the current administration.
McConnell also used the live stream interview as an opportunity to blame the previous administration for the pandemic response, Politico reported.
“The Obama administration did not leave to this administration any kind of game plan,” he stated.
However, reports have shown that the Obama administration did, in fact, have a pandemic response plan in place. According to Politico, Obama’s National Security Council developed a detailed guide for dealing with a global pandemic. The Trump administration was reportedly made aware of the guide in 2017, but have not used it in their response to the pandemic.