President Donald Trump on Sunday denounced President Barack Obama as “grossly incompetent” and slammed Joe Biden as “corrupt” even as the coronavirus death toll neared 90,000.
Returning from a weekend at Camp David, Trump claimed he hadn’t seen his popular predecessor’s speech to graduating college students in which Obama criticized the “people in charge” for bungling the response to the pandemic.
“Look, he was an incompetent president, that’s all I can say,” Trump told reporters. “Grossly incompetent.”
Obama avoided directly attacking Trump by name even as he has begun to speak out about the botched response to the pandemic.
The death toll is set to rise above a once-unthinkable 100,000 on Trump’s watch by the Memorial Day holiday that marks the traditional beginning of summer.
Despite the still-raging health crisis, Trump spent most of last week raging at Obama and Biden. He claims that their knowledge of an FBI investigation into Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying about conversations with a Russian envoy, somehow amounts to a major scandal dubbed “Obamagate.”
Attorney General William Barr sought to drop the case against Flynn despite his guilty plea. But the federal judge handling the case hasn’t agreed to do so and may sentence the fired National Security Administration chief anyway.
Trump improbably dubbed the probe “the greatest political hoax in history,” in a Fox News interview with host Maria Bartiromo. That used to be a term he reserved for the anti-Biden Ukraine smear effort that led to his impeachment last winter.
“This was all Obama. This was all Biden. These people were corrupt. The whole thing was corrupt, and we caught them,” Trump said.
Trump later thanked Obama and Biden in a tongue-in-cheek tweet that asserted that their supposed misdeeds helped catapult him to the White House.
“Remember, (Obama) and Sleepy Joe are the reasons I am in the White House!!!” Trump tweeted, using his preferred derogatory nickname for Biden.
Along with the Flynn debacle, Trump has stepped up efforts to point fingers at Obama as somehow being to blame for the coronavirus crisis.
Trump has derided the previous administration’s pandemic playbook as inadequate and repeatedly claims Obama left the cupboards bare when it comes to medical equipment stockpiles.
The president also bemoans the “broken” testing system he inherited as a key reason for the tragic toll, even though he had been in office for three years when the pandemic hit.