Obama Rips Trump: I Complained About Fox News, But Never Called Them Enemies of the People


Former President Barack Obama made something of a return to the spotlight in Friday, two years after he left the White House and was replaced by President Donald Trump.

After maintaining relative silence on Trump’s administration, Obama came out swinging on Friday in a speech at the University of Illinois, hammering Trump and the Republicans backing him.

At one point in his speech, Obama said to those who disagree with him on policy: “You should still be concerned with our current course and should still want to see a restoration of honesty and decency and lawfulness in our government.”

“It should not be Democratic or Republican,” he continued, before taking aim at Trump. “It should not be a partisan issue to say that we do not pressure the attorney general or the FBI to use the criminal justice system as a cudgel to punish our political opponents.”

“Or to explicitly call on the attorney general to protect members of our own party from prosecution because an election happens to be coming up,” he said, referencing a recent Trump tweet. “I’m not making that up. That’s not hypothetical.”

Obama then turned to Trump’s attacks on the press: “It shouldn’t be Democratic or Republican to say that we don’t threaten the freedom of the press because they say things or publish stories we don’t like.”

“I complained plenty about Fox News,” he said (No shit). “But you never heard me threaten to shut them down or call them enemies of the people.”

He also condemned Trump for his remarks after the Charlottesville white supremacist rally, when he declared there were “fine people on both sides.”

It shouldn’t be Democratic or Republican to say we don’t target certain groups of people based on what they look like or how they pray. We are Americans. We’re supposed to stand up to bullies. Not follow them. We’re supposed to stand up to discrimination, and we’re sure as heck supposed to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers!

“How hard can that be? Saying that Nazis are bad?” Obama said.

Watch above, via CNN.

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor in Chief of Mediaite. Send tips via email: aidan@mediaite.com. Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin