Administration

Obama: Trump has accelerated ‘truth decay’

Former President Obama made some of his most pointed criticism of President Trump to date in an interview that aired on “60 Minutes” Sunday night, saying his successor has hastened “truth decay.”

“We have gone through a presidency that disregarded a whole host of basic institutional norms  expectations we had for a president that had been observed by Republicans and Democrats previously,” Obama said.

“And maybe most importantly, and most disconcertingly, what we’ve seen is what some people call ‘truth decay,’ something that’s been accelerated by outgoing President Trump, the sense that not only do we not have to tell the truth, but the truth doesn’t even matter,” he added.

The former president also addressed Trump’s ongoing unsubstantiated claims that voter fraud led to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory earlier this month.

Trump “never admits loss,” Obama said. The former president added that he is “more troubled by the fact that other Republican officials who clearly know better are going along with this, are humoring [Trump] in this fashion.”

“It is one more step in delegitimizing not just the incoming Biden administration, but democracy generally,” Obama added. “And that’s a dangerous path.”

Obama was also asked about the fact that, despite Biden’s victory, the results were not a clear rebuke of the president, who received an all-time record number of votes for a sitting president. Obama attributed the outcome to political polarization and politics that revolve around “wanting to beat the other guy.”

“I do think the current media environment adds to that greatly. This democracy doesn’t work if we don’t have an informed citizenry,” Obama said. “This democracy doesn’t work if we don’t have responsible elected officials at other levels who are willing to call the president, when he’s not doing something right, call him on it.”

The former president is promoting his new memoir “A Promised Land,” which is set to be released Tuesday.

Tags Barack Obama Donald Trump Joe Biden

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