Former senior adviser to President Obama David Axelrod says that President Trump is "jealous" of the former president's popularity, which may be influencing his policy decisions.

"There’s some other thing at play here that I don’t have the qualifications to analyze that clearly motivates him," Axelrod said in an interview on CNN's "Smerconish" Saturday.

"Because every time he talks about anything that President Obama did, he talks about it in these very caustic terms as if he’s jealous or envious of the esteem with which Obama left office.”

Axelrod added that Trump is "motivated" by the desire to "obliterate the Obama legacy." The ex-Obama aide said that the former president's focus is less on keeping his legacy intact, and more on the consequences of the current administration's choices.

"I think what disturbs him, and what should disturb many, is the impact of these decisions," Axelrod said. "I believe the president thinks this is chum in the water, fulfilling his campaign promises."


Axelrod's remarks come a day after Trump announced he would declare Iran noncompliant with the nuclear agreement struck by the Obama administration in 2015. The nuclear pact is considered to be Obama's most prominent foreign policy achievement in office, though Trump has called it one of the "worst" deals ever struck.

“We will not continue down a path whose predictable conclusion is more violence, more terror and the very real threat of Iran’s nuclear breakout," Trump said Friday. The Iran deal, he said, was "one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into."