“Look, he was an incompetent president. That’s all I can say. Grossly incompetent.”
Trump made the remarks less than 24 hours after Obama criticized his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Since leaving office, the former president has stayed on the sidelines, seldom commenting on the political situation in the country. However, he has become more outspoken since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak.
During a conference call last week, the Democrat described the White House’s response to the crisis as an “absolute chaotic disaster,” stating that the government has adopted a “What’s in it for me?” philosophy. On Saturday, the former president echoed that criticism.
During a virtual address to graduates of historically black colleges and universities, Obama discussed the government’s response to the pandemic once again. He did not mention Trump by name, but the comments were interpreted as a thinly-veiled shot at the commander-in-chief.
“This pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing,” Obama said.
Trump pushed back against Obama’s suggestions, telling reporters that he had a productive weekend at Camp David.
“We did a lot of terrific meetings, tremendous progress is being made on many fronts, including coming up with a cure for this horrible plague that has beset our country,” he said.
Trump’s allies have defended the president against Obama’s criticism. In an interview broadcast on Sunday morning, White House economic adviser Peter Navarro said that he is “glad Mr. Obama has a new job as Joe Biden’s press secretary.” Navarro also accused the Obama administration of offshoring “millions” of jobs to China.
Hours after slamming Obama, Trump took to Twitter to repeat the criticism.
The Obama Administration is turning out to be one of the most corrupt and incompetent in U.S. history. Remember, he and Sleepy Joe are the reasons I am in the White House!!!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 17, 2020
In recent weeks, the president has been pushing the “Obamagate” theory, alleging that Obama administration officials conspired to undermine the Trump administration. According to the right-wing theory, Obama and his associates launched the investigations into Russian election interference to politically damage Trump.
Trump has also pressured key Republicans — including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — to launch an investigation into Obama officials’ alleged wrongdoings.
Earlier this week, Trump urged Republican senators to call Obama to testify over “Obamagate.” In a statement, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that his panel will investigate the origins of the Russia probe, but explained that he has no intention of summoning the former president to testify.