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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell torched former President Barack Obama for his “classless” attack on the current administration and its handling of the coronavirus crisis.
The Kentucky Republican told President Donald Trump’s daughter-in-law in an interview that he thought Obama should have “kept his mouth shut” rather than criticize his successor.
Lara Trump brought up the former president’s “unnecessary” recent comments during a talk with McConnell on the president’s official YouTube channel, referring to a leaked private call in which Obama reportedly slammed the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic as “an absolute chaotic disaster.”
Talking privately to former members of his administration, Obama had also slammed the decision by the Justice Department last week to drop charges against former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, warning that the “rule of law is at risk.”
“Generally former presidents just don’t do that,” McConnell said during the live-stream video Monday.
“I remember that President George W. Bush and his father, went right through eight years of Democratic administrations after they left office and kept their mouths shut, because they didn’t feel it was appropriate for former presidents to even critique a president of another party,” the GOP leader added.
“So I think President Obama should have kept his mouth shut,” McConnell continued.
In the leaked audio recording of the call, Obama had targeted the faults he saw in Trump’s leadership in encouraging Democrats to rally behind former Vice President Joe Biden in his White House bid.
“It’s part of the reason why the response to this global crisis has been so anemic and spotty,” Obama reportedly said, according to Yahoo News. “It would have been bad even with the best of governments. It has been an absolute chaotic disaster when that mindset — of ‘what’s in it for me’ and ‘to heck with everybody else’ — when that mindset is operationalized in our government.”
“That’s why, I, by the way, am going to be spending as much time as necessary and campaigning as hard as I can for Joe Biden,” he added.
McConnell rebuked the former president’s “critique.”
“We know he doesn’t like much this administration is doing, that’s understandable. But I think it’s a little bit classless frankly, to critique an administration that comes after you,” he told Lara Trump.
“You had your shot, you were there for eight years,” McConnell added. “I think the tradition that the Bushes set up of not critiquing the president comes after you is a good tradition.”
The president called out the Obama administration’s “disaster known as H1N1 Swine Flu” in a tweet on Sunday, defending his own record of handling the current emergency.
We are getting great marks for the handling of the CoronaVirus pandemic, especially the very early BAN of people from China, the infectious source, entering the USA. Compare that to the Obama/Sleepy Joe disaster known as H1N1 Swine Flu. Poor marks, bad polls – didn’t have a clue!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2020
In further comments on the coronavirus response by the White House, McConnell noted that “clearly the Obama administration did not leave to this administration any kind of game plan for something like this.”
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