Former President Barack Obama says President Donald Trump must put the country first and concede the election to Joe Biden.
During a “60 Minutes” interview that aired Sunday night, Obama said there’s been a “truth decay” in American politics and it’s “been accelerated by outgoing President Trump.”
“My advice to President Trump is, if you want at this late stage in the game to be remembered as somebody who put country first, it’s time for you to do the same thing,” Obama said.
“Well, I mean, I think it was time for him to concede probably– the day after the election– or at the latest, two days after the election. When you look at the numbers objectively, Joe Biden will have won handily. There is no scenario in which any of those states would turn the other way, and certainly not enough to reverse the outcome of the election,” Barack Obama said.
Obama provided a civics lesson in explaining his current advice for Trump.
“Well, a president is a public servant. They are temporary occupants of the office, by design,” he said. “And when your time is up then it is your job to put the country first and think beyond your own ego, and your own interests.”
On the massive number of votes that both presidential candidates received, Obama said: “It tells us that we’re very divided. … it’s not just the politicians now. The voters are divided.”
“It has now become a contest where issues, facts, policies per se don’t matter as much as identity and wanting to beat the other guy … that’s taken priority,” he continued.
“I do think the current media environment adds to that greatly. This democracy doesn’t work if we don’t have an informed citizenry,” he added.
At another point, Obama said that America’s adversaries have seen the country weakened, not just as a consequence of this election, but over the last several years.
“We have these cleavages in the body politic that they’re convinced they can exploit. There’s an old adage that partisan politics should stop at the water’s edge, right? That, when it comes to our foreign policy, that it is the United States of America, not the divided states of America,” Obama said.
“We have gone through a presidency that disregarded a whole host of basic institutional norms, expectations we had for a president that had been observed by Republicans and Democrats previously. And maybe most importantly, and most disconcertingly, what we’ve seen is what some people call truth decay, something that’s been accelerated by outgoing President Trump, the sense that not only do we not have to tell the truth, but the truth doesn’t even matter,” he said.