When President Donald Trump occupied the Oval Office (and before the 2020 election), former President Barack Obama generally gave his successor the courtesy of silence — at least in public. In private, however, Obama repeatedly attacked Trump in the harshest of terms, occasionally veering into profanity.
According to a new book, Obama called Trump a “madman”, a “racist, sexist pig”, “that f**king lunatic”, and a “corrupt motherf**ker.”
Edward-Isaac Dovere, a staff writer at The Atlantic, reports the remarks in his forthcoming book Battle for the Soul: Inside the Democrats’ Campaigns to Defeat Donald Trump. The Guardian obtained an advance copy and Martin Pengelly first reported on Obama’s remarks.
Politico published another excerpt from the book in which Jill Biden said then-Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) should “go f**k herself” after Harris attacked Joe Biden on the debate stage early in the 2020 Democratic primary.
According to Dovere, Obama first preferred the prospect of Trump over that of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) as president, because Obama did not think Trump as clever as Cruz. Yet beginning in 2017, Obama began to lash out at Trump in private.
“He’s a madman,” Obama told “big donors looking to squeeze a reaction out of him in exchange for the big checks they were writing to his foundation,” Dovere writes.
“More often: ‘I didn’t think it would be this bad.’ Sometimes: ‘I didn’t think we’d have a racist, sexist pig.’ Depending on the outrage of the day … a passing ‘that f**king lunatic’ with a shake of his head,” Dovere adds.
Obama condemned Trump as “that corrupt motherf**ker” after news broke that Trump was speaking to foreign leaders without any aides on the calls.
Dovere’s book also confirms that Obama had a rocky relationship with his former vice president. Echoing Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes in their book Lucky: How Joe Biden Barely Won the Presidency, Dovere notes that Obama expressed concern about Biden’s age and his ability to win and govern.
Dovere claims that Biden seized on a key campaign insight — that Obama and other Democrats had not sufficiently focused on the working- and middle-class voters who gave Trump his victory in 2016.
Obama’s remarks may not come as much of a surprise, but the profane expressions of hatred against Trump certainly seem shocking.