Former President Barack Obama told MSNBC in an exclusive interview Thursday that it has been troubling to watch Republicans defend President Donald Trump’s baseless voter fraud claims.
“These are just bald assertions, they have been repeatedly rejected by the courts, and I think I’m, I’m less surprised by Donald Trump doing this, he has shown, you know, only a flimsy relationship with the truth,” Obama told MSNBC contributor Jonathan Capehart during a sit-down interview. “I’m more troubled that you’re seeing a lot of Republican officials go along with it, not because they actually believe it, but because they feel intimidated by it.”
Obama sat down to discuss his recently released 768-page best-selling memoir “A Promised Land,” which covers his first term in office. In past years, Obama had been reluctant to openly criticize Trump and other Republicans. But his biting criticism of the president and his party comes a few weeks after an election Trump refuses to concede to Obama’s former vice-president, President-elect Joe Biden.
“Joe Biden is going to be the next president of the United States. Kamala Harris is going to be the next vice president,” Obama said. “I have been troubled, like every American, whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or independent should be troubled, when you start having attempts to block, negate, overturn the people’s vote when there’s no actual evidence that there was anything illegal or fraudulent taking place.”
Obama also excoriated conservative-leaning news outlets for giving a platform to the claims.
“And the degree to which you’ve seen some news outlets that cater to the right and the conservative viewpoint, somehow try to prop up these, you know, bogus claims,” he said.
Few Republican lawmakers have publicly acknowledged that Biden will be the next president – vacillating between loyalty to a president who still enjoys strong support among the GOP base and their oath to protect the guardrails of democracy, which are being tested in the middle of an economic and public health crisis. Numerous Republicans have promoted the president’s baseless claims of voter fraud in several states and promoted his legal team’s meritless lawsuits in court, many of which have failed.
Some current and former Trump officials have privately reached out to Biden’s transition team, but the Trump administration is still delaying the formal, orderly transition of power — a move some Republicans have raised concerns about while also supporting the president’s losing legal fight.
Former President Barack Obama sits down with Jonathan Capehart to discuss his new book, “A Promised Land,” and current events. Watch the exclusive interview tonight at 10 p.m. ET on MSNBC.