Former Obama adviser: Trump surrendered 'moral authority' of presidency

Ben Rhodes on Sunday ripped President Trump's response to the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., saying Trump gave up the "moral authority" of the presidency. 

"These are critical moments. I think of President Obama going out to Charleston after a white supremacist killing. President Clinton, Oklahoma City, President Bush after 9-11. You know, this is a living office, and what we saw yesterday really is a president surrendering the moral authority of the office of the president of the United States," Rhodes, who served as former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaRealClearPolitics editor says Trump needs to compromise on border to shift public opinion Obama ‘new blood’ remark has different meaning for Biden  Democratic dark horses could ride high in 2020 MORE's deputy national security adviser, said on ABC's "This Week." 

"I think there are huge costs to that for the nation because people look to a president to put these events in context and bring people together," he continued.

ADVERTISEMENT

Rhodes's comments come after Trump condemned the violence that engulfed the small Virginia city on Saturday. Trump, however, stopped short of naming specific hate groups involved and said "many sides" held responsibility for the violence. 

Trump frequently hit Obama for not calling out "radical Islamic terrorism" during his administration. 

At least one person died in Charlottesville and dozens were injured on Saturday after a white supremacist rally.