Former President Obama wants President Trump to concede the election and step aside to allow President-Elect Joe Biden to begin transitioning into the White House.
During an interview with “60 Minutes,” Obama said Trump’s unwillingness to concede has put America’s election system in question.
“Our democracy seems to be teetering on the brink of a crisis,” he said via Axios, adding “the sense that not only do we not have to tell the truth, but the truth doesn’t even matter.”
He criticized Trump for not immediately accepting the results of the 2020 election.
“There are a set of traditions that we have followed in the peaceful transfer of power…. Whether Donald Trump will [follow those,] we’ll have to see. So far, that’s not been his approach. But you know, hope springs eternal,” Trump’s predecessor said via the report.
Obama called on Trump to “put the country first and think beyond [his] ego.”
“They are temporary occupants of the office, by design. And when your time is up then it is your job to put the country first and think beyond your own ego, and your own interests, and your own disappointments,” he said.
Obama added: “My advice to President Trump is, if you want at this late stage in the game to be remembered as somebody who put country first, it’s time for you to do the same thing.”
The former Democratic president claimed the international community saw the U.S. as “weakened” since the transition of power was in question.
“I think our adversaries have seen us weakened, not just as a consequence of this election, but over the last several years,” Obama said per Axios. “We have these cleavages in the body politic that [Russia and China are] convinced they can exploit.”
Watch his comments below:
“There are a set of traditions that we have followed in the peaceful transfer of power…. Whether Donald Trump will [follow those,] we'll have to see. So far, that's not been his approach. But you know, hope springs eternal,” says Barack Obama. https://t.co/LIMWqL3Uyq pic.twitter.com/zQxNAuI3ST
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) November 16, 2020
CBS’ Scott Pelley asked the former president about the historically high voter turnout, with both President Trump and challenger Joe Biden setting individual voting records—Biden has garnered the most votes of any presidential candidate and Trump has set a new record for the most votes garnered as a presidential incumbent.
“It tells us that we’re very divided. … it’s not just the politicians now. The voters are divided,” Obama said.
“It has now become a contest where issues, facts, policies per se don’t matter as much as identity and wanting to beat the other guy … that’s taken priority,” he continued. “I do think the current media environment adds to that greatly. This democracy doesn’t work if we don’t have an informed citizenry.”