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McConnell: Obama 'should have kept his mouth shut' on Trump's coronavirus response

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump impeachment trial to begin week of Feb. 8 Democrats float 14th Amendment to bar Trump from office Biden signals he's willing to delay Trump trial MORE (R-Ky.) said on Monday that former President Obama should have held back from criticizing President TrumpDonald TrumpMcCarthy says he told Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene he disagreed with her impeachment articles against Biden Biden, Trudeau agree to meet next month Trump planned to oust acting AG to overturn Georgia election results: report MORE's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, calling Obama's critique "a little bit classless."

President Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara TrumpLara TrumpSeven Senate races to watch in 2022 Lara Trump leading Republicans in 2022 North Carolina Senate poll Rep. Mark Walker announces Senate bid in North Carolina MORE, during an online Trump campaign event, told McConnell that Obama "slammed" President Trump over his response to the coronavirus outbreak.

McConnell replied that Obama should have followed the lead of former President George W. Bush, who largely sidestepped weighing in on politics after he left the White House. McConnell also noted that the former GOP president and his father, former President George H.W. Bush, "kept their mouths shut" after leaving office because they didn't think it was "appropriate" to critique another president. 

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"I think President Obama should have kept his mouth shut. You know, 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," McConnell said. 

"You had your shot. You were there for eight years. I think the tradition that the Bushes set up of not critiquing the president who comes after you is a good tradition," McConnell added. 

Neither Lara Trump nor McConnell specified which Obama comments they were referring to.

But Obama, during a private phone call, characterized the administration's response as an "absolute chaotic disaster" that stemmed from a "what's in it for me" mindset. 

"It's part of the reason why the response to this global crisis has been so anemic and spotty," Obama said, according to CNN. "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' ... is operationalized in our government."

Obama has rarely weighed in on policies or plans developed by the current administration since leaving office in 2017. But he took a veiled shot at the administration on Twitter late last month, saying there still was not a "coherent national plan."

"While we continue to wait for a coherent national plan to navigate this pandemic, states like Massachusetts are beginning to adopt their own public health plans to combat this virus––before it's too late," Obama tweeted, linking to a New Yorker article that detailed Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker's (R) push for widespread testing and a comprehensive contact tracing program.