Speaking with his former aides Jon Favreau and Tommy Vietor, who host the show, Obama said that Trump lacks the “patience” and “focus” to change U.S. foreign policy in a major way.
Still, he noted, Trump has “systematically tried to decimate our entire foreign policy infrastructure.”
Obama argued that his former vice president and Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, would offer different, more competent leadership.
To illustrate his point, Obama pointed to reports of Trump referring to Haiti and African countries as “sh*thole” nations, saying that Biden would handle diplomacy much better and surround himself with experts.
Obama acknowledged that Biden has made serious mistakes over the course of his decades-long political career.
Notably, the former Delaware senator voted to authorize the use of military force in Iraq in 2002, supporting then-President George W. Bush’s efforts.
But, according to Obama, Biden “learned a lesson from that,” realizing that military intervention is not always the answer and that American interests abroad can be advanced via diplomacy.
“Among my senior advisers during the course of my presidency, he consistently believed that we should show restraint and humility and think through the use of military power and had huge confidence and faith in the use of diplomacy as a strategy for, you know, showing American leadership.”
If he wins the presidency, Biden will have to “rebuild” the State Department because Trump has purged competent officials and appointed only loyalists that fully support his agenda, Obama concluded.
He said that Biden is “going to have to rebuild a State Department that where some of the best people have been driven out systematically because they weren’t willing to toe Trump’s ideological agenda.”
As Reuters pointed out, when it comes to international relations, there are some differences between Trump and Biden.
Notably, Trump has tried to curb China’s influence by slapping tariffs on Chinese goods and waging a trade war, while the Democrat has said that the best way to combat Beijing would be by multilateral pressure.
Trump, who has been critical of armed interventions in the Middle East, has rejected dialogue with Iran, pulling out of the nuclear deal Obama negotiated and assassinating top general Qassem Soleimani. Biden has said that he would re-enter the agreement.
Both Trump and Biden have argued that the vast majority of U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan should be withdrawn and both supported the recent deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.