'This is not normal': Obama slams anonymous author of New York Times op-ed and warns people against feeling comforted by it

  • President Barack Obama on Friday criticised the anonymous author of the New York Times op-ed article claiming there’s a “quiet resistance” against President Donald Trump in the White House.
  • “That’s not how our democracy is supposed to work,” Obama said.
  • The speech constituted Obama’s harshest, most direct rebuke of Trump and his administration since Obama departed the White House.

President Barack Obama on Friday criticised the anonymous author of the New York Times op-ed article claiming there’s a “quiet resistance” against President Donald Trump in the White House.

During a speech to students at the University of Illinois, Obama urged people against feeling comforted by the article, as the author seemed to intend.

“That’s not how our democracy is supposed to work,” Obama said. “These people aren’t elected … They’re not doing us a favour by actively promoting 90% of the crazy stuff coming out of this White House and saying, ‘Don’t worry, we’re preventing the other 10%.'”

Obama added: “This is not normal. These are extraordinary times. And they’re dangerous times.”

The speech constituted Obama’s harshest, most direct rebuke of Trump and his administration since Obama departed the White House.

Obama told students they were coming of age during a remarkably divisive time in US history, but he described Trump as a “symptom” and not the “cause” of the problem. “He’s just capitalising on resentments that politicians have been fanning for years,” Obama said.

The former president went on to lambaste the state of the Republican Party.

“Over the past few decades, the politics of division, resentment, and paranoia have unfortunately found a home in the Republican Party,” he said.

Accordingly, Obama also said the “stakes really are higher” in terms of this year’s midterms.

“You need to vote because our democracy depends on it,” he said, adding: “This moment really is different. The stakes really are higher. The consequences of any of us sitting on the sidelines are more dire.”

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