06:39 GMT +317 November 2019
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    A child walks past a display of masks of US President Barack Obama, and presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, for sale at a shop selling Halloween items in Alhambra, California on October 21, 2016

    Obama Blasts Current US Presidency, Trump Says His Speech 'Good for Sleeping'

    © AFP 2019 / Frederic J. BROWN
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    Despite his previous comments about staying out of the political arena, former US President Barack Obama delivered a comprehensive criticism of the current US administration Friday, saying it has “undermined trust in the government.”

    According to the Hill, in his two-hour-long speech at the University of Illinois, Obama said his return to the political stage was aimed to influence what Democrats are hoping will be a midterm rally in November. He framed the elections as “crucial” for the future of the US and said he was going to take a more public role for the party.

    READ MORE: 'Mr. Transparency': Twitter Mocks Obama's Bid to Hide Details of Speech Contract

    Throughout the speech, Obama slammed current US President Donald Trump for politicizing the Department of Justice, unraveling the social safety net and busting the budget with a tax-cut bill he claimed would lead to more inequality. He reminded listeners about Trump’s response during the 2017 Charlottesville demonstrations, saying, “How hard can that be? Saying that Nazis are bad?” He also added that Trump’s claimed achievements in providing job growth were unfounded.

    "Let's just remember when this recovery started,” Obama said. “I have to kind of remind them those jobs numbers are kind of the same as they were in 2015 and 2016.”

    Trump responded with a laugh hours after Obama’s speech, saying it bored him. “I'm sorry. I watched it, but I fell asleep. I found he's very good — very good for sleeping,” Trump said.

    The US president also noted that Obama’s words lacked credibility, as the former president failed to provide stable job growth. “This is called, not recovery, this is called a rocket ship, what's happened,” Trump noted of economic performance during his term, and posted a tweet with a statement from the Council of Economic Advisers with statistics on the matter.

    Obama’s speech was triggered by a recent New York Times op-ed in which an anonymous author claiming to be a member of the US administration said an anonymous network of White House and government insiders were working to stop Trump from actions that could hurt the country.

    “That's not how our democracy's supposed to work,” Obama said, “These people aren't elected. They are not accountable. They are not doing us a service by actively promoting 90 percent of the crazy stuff that is coming out of the White House and then saying don’t worry we are preventing the other 10 percent.”

    The timing of the speech produced a remarkable split screen where all three cable news networks carried Obama's remarks live at the same time Trump made comments aboard Air Force One on the NYT publication, calling it a "disgrace" and telling the reporters that the Department of Justice should uncover the identity of the writer.

    Obama’s return to the spotlight to harshly criticize the president and his Republican Party provoked responses senior GOP leaders.  Senator Lindsey Graham tweeted, “The Obama years were dominated by higher taxes, slower growth, big government, a broken military, and a pathetically weak foreign policy,” which led to Trump’s  victory.

    US midterm Congressional elections will be held November 6. A poll carried out by USA Today and Suffolk University this September surveying 1,000 registered voters showed that around 50 percent tend to vote for Democrats, but 58 percent said they want to elect members of Congress who will stand up to Trump.


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    sleep, jobs, midterms, criticism, speech, Donald Trump, Lindsey Graham, Barack Obama, United States
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