Blaming Obama

Trump claims Obama was grossly incompetent

Former US president Barack Obama delivering his virtual commencement address to millions of high school seniors last Saturday. PHOTO: REUTERS
Former US president Barack Obama delivering his virtual commencement address to millions of high school seniors last Saturday. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON • US President Donald Trump has fired back at his predecessor, Mr Barack Obama, who had taken a swipe at how the current administration has handled the coronavirus outbreak.

"Look, he was an incompetent president," Mr Trump said of Mr Obama on Sunday. "That's all I can say. Grossly incompetent."

In a tweet later, the Republican President called the Obama administration "one of the most corrupt and incompetent in US history", claiming that Mr Obama and his deputy, Mr Joe Biden, are the reasons why he is in the White House.

The comments came a day after Mr Obama, a Democrat, issued a thinly veiled criticism of the Trump administration's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

"More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they're doing," Mr Obama said during a virtual commencement speech to high school seniors last Saturday. "A lot of them aren't even pretending to be in charge."

In a private call with supporters earlier this month, details of which were leaked to media outlets, Mr Obama called the Trump administration's coronavirus response "an absolute chaotic disaster".

"It's part of the reason why the response to this global crisis has been so anaemic and spotty," Mr Obama reportedly said. "It would have been bad even with the best of governments."

More than 1.5 million people in the United States have infected with the coronavirus, with at least 90,000 deaths.

The Trump administration has defended its handling of the public health crisis, while critics have said it ignored early warnings and was slow to act.

 
 
 
 

Mr Trump has often blamed the Obama administration for passing on "broken tests" for the new coronavirus - although Mr Obama left office years before the virus came into existence.

XINHUA, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 19, 2020, with the headline 'Trump claims ex-president was grossly incompetent'. Print Edition | Subscribe