Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) thinks former President Barack Obama should’ve “kept his mouth shut” about President Donald Trump since leaving office.
And he called Obama “classless” for criticizing Trump’s response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, which has so far claimed more than 80,000 lives in the U.S.
In a private call last week with former members of his administration, Obama called Trump’s handling of the matter “an absolute chaotic disaster.” He also warned that “the rule of law is at risk” after Trump’s Justice Department dropped charges against former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn.
McConnell believes Obama shouldn’t have said anything.
“I think President Obama should’ve kept his mouth shut,” he said in an interview with Lara Trump, who is the president’s daughter-in-law and an adviser to his reelection campaign.
“I think it’s a little bit classless, frankly, to critique an administration that comes after you,” he said. “You had your shot. You were there for eight years.”
Obama was initially largely silent on Trump.
However, in recent weeks they’ve each taken a few public swipes at the other.
Without mentioning Trump, Obama last month called out the lack of “a coherent national plan to navigate this pandemic.” And in March ― again without mentioning Trump ― Obama warned of “the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic.”
Trump has been more direct, accusing Obama of the “biggest political crime in American history.”
However, he could not provide any details of the alleged crime, saying only that it’s “very obvious to everybody.”
Trump has also repeatedly blamed his administration’s failure to respond quickly to the crisis on Obama, claiming his predecessor left behind “bad, broken tests.”
COVID-19 didn’t exist until nearly three years after Obama left office.
McConnell has his own history with Obama. In 2010, he declared the “single most important thing” for Republicans was to make Obama a one-term president. And last year, he bragged about blocking Obama’s judicial nominees, then laughed about it.
Users on Twitter called McConnell out for telling a former president of the United States ― and the nation’s first Black president ― to keep his mouth shut: