Former President Barack Obama condemned the actions of Republicans who have echoed President Donald Trump‘s false (and debunked) claims that election fraud helped President-elect Joe Biden win the general election last week. Obama made the comments in an interview with “60 Minutes” that will air in full over the weekend.
“There’s damage to this,” Obama said. “Because what happens is that the peaceful transfer of power — the notion that any of us who attain an elected office, whether it’s dog catcher or president, are servants of the people, it’s a temporary job, we’re not above the rules, we’re not above the law — that’s the essence of our democracy.”
Addressing the president’s allegations of fraud, Obama said Republicans “obviously didn’t think there was any fraud going on, because they didn’t say anything about it for the first two days” after Election Day.”
“I stayed up until 2:30 in the morning, and I then called Donald Trump to congratulate him,” Obama added, a reminder that despite controversy over Russian interference in the 2016 general election, he still chose to support Trump through the transition.
President Trump has by all accounts done the opposite for Biden, and more Republicans have issued calls for the president-elect to be given presidential intelligence briefings. Calls for the president to concede continue to mount.
The president has also used his social media profile to spread conspiracy theories about voting machine irregularities, which have been thoroughly debunked both by a New York Times investigation and a statement from the federal Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) that the 2020 election was “the most secure in American history.”
Privately, however, the president appears to have accepted his loss.
“He knows it’s over,” one adviser told The New York Times, one of several sources to provide insight into the president’s behavior as he prepares for a slew of legal challenges that will be allowed to proceed once he steps down and is no longer protected by presidential immunity.