Obama Calls Trump’s Refusal To Concede Another ‘Breach Of Basic Democratic Norms’
ormer President Barack Obama delivered a stinging rebuke of President Trump’s refusal to concede the 2020 election, warning of the real-world harm that can stem from any delay in the peaceful transfer of power, but saying Trump will fail in “denying reality.”
In an interview with NPR that airs Monday, Obama provided some of his most wide-ranging remarks about the election since Joe Biden’s victory over Trump. Obama said that he took Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the election seriously and described the president’s unwillingness to cooperate with the transition as “yet one more example of how Donald Trump’s breach of basic democratic norms is hurting the American people.”
Obama’s remarks come as Trump continues to falsely maintain that he won the election and as he pursues a Hail Mary legal strategy to challenge the outcome based on unproven and baseless allegations of fraud. With near-universal consent from Republicans in Congress, the president has formed a united front that has blocked the incoming Biden administration from millions in federal dollars set aside to fund the transition, as well as access to information and agency officials across the government.
“I’m distressed that you haven’t seen more Republican leadership make this clear, because the amount of time that’s being lost in this transition process has real-world effects,” Obama told All Things Considered host Michel Martin. “Look, we’re in the middle of a pandemic. We’re in the middle of an economic crisis. We have serious national security issues.”
Obama said Trump’s behavior marks a total departure from how he and his staff were treated by the last Republican president to exit the White House, George W. Bush, following Obama’s victory in the 2008 election.
“For all the differences that I had with George W. Bush, he and his administration could not have been more gracious and effective in working with us to facilitate a smooth transition,” Obama said. He said his ability to get “immediately briefed” by top administration officials on everything from the financial crisis to the wars in Afgha