President Barack Obama is weighing in on his successor's recent controversial comments aimed at several prominent Democratic lawmakers. Two weeks after President Donald Trump incited backlash with his controversial comments calling for four congresswomen of color to "go back" where they came from, the 44th POTUS took to Twitter to share his feelings about the whole thing with a tweet backing up an op-ed written by his former staffers. Barack Obama’s response to Trump's "go back" tweet and recent comments about Baltimore shows he's not here for the divisive rhetoric, and he's supporting a call for the president to do better.
On Saturday, July 27, Trump posted the latest of what has been a string of controversial comments over the past few weeks when he took to Twitter to slam Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, for Cummings' critique of the way the administration has been handling the treatment of migrants at the southern border.
In addition to labeling the Democratic lawmaker as a "brutal bully," he called Cummings' constituency in Baltimore a "very dangerous and filthy place" where "no human being would want to live." In response, Cummings urged the president to work with him on drug prescription price reform while reiterating his duties as a lawmaker.
"Mr. President, I go home to my district daily. Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors," Cummings wrote on Twitter. "It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents."
Unsurprisingly, plenty of people had something to say about the president's attack on the precinct, and Barack Obama took to Twitter to weigh in on the controversial comments with a subtle but firm dig.
On Saturday, July 27, Obama shared an op-ed published by The Washington Post, which was "co-signed by 149 African Americans who served in the Obama administration", and the piece criticizes Trump for his tweet that appeared to tell several minority Democratic congresswomen to "go back" to the "totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."
"We stand with congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, as well as all those currently under attack by President Trump, along with his supporters and his enablers, who feel deputized to decide who belongs here — and who does not," Obama's former staffers wrote. "There is truly nothing more un-American than calling on fellow citizens to leave our country — by citing their immigrant roots, or ancestry, or their unwillingness to sit in quiet obedience while democracy is being undermined." Elite Daily reached out to the White House for response to claims that Trump's "go back" language is "un-American," but did not heard back by the time of publication.
They continued, "We refuse to sit idly by as racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia are wielded by the president and any elected official complicit in the poisoning of our democracy." Elite Daily reached out to the White House for a response to the claims in the open letter, but has not heard back at the time of publishing. Trump himself has denied claims that he is racist numerous times, even claiming he is "the least racist person."
While Obama didn't directly mention Trump by name, he appeared to show he supports the sentiments in the letter when he shared the op-ed condemning the president's divisive rhetoric and wrote that he was "proud" of his former colleagues for taking a stand.
"I’ve always been proud of what this team accomplished during my administration," he wrote. "But more than what we did, I’m proud of how they’re continuing to fight for an America that’s better." Elite Daily reached out to The Obama Foundation for further comment on the matter from Obama, but did not hear back at the time of publication.
Former first lady Michelle Obama also shared her sentiments by taking to the social media platform to praise a Baltimore dance team shortly after Trump's comments aired.
"On #NationalDanceDay, I'm shouting out the Lethal Ladies, a Baltimore STEP team who I saw perform back in 2017," Michelle Obama tweeted. "I’m so proud of you all—and everyone who’s dancing today!"
For his part, Trump didn't appear to take the Obamas' commentary to heart and continued to stick to his guns in light of the backlash.
"So sad that Elijah Cummings has been able to do so little for the people of Baltimore," Trump tweeted on Saturday evening. "Statistically, Baltimore ranks last in almost every major category. Cummings has done nothing but milk Baltimore dry, but the public is getting wise to the bad job that he is doing!"
Then, on Sunday, July 28, Trump further added fuel to the flame when he claimed that the Democrats "always play the race card" while slamming Nancy Pelosi for speaking out against him and calling his remarks "racist." Shortly after Trump's attack against Cummings on July 27, the Speaker of the House tweeted:
[Rep. Cummings] is a champion in the Congress and the country for civil rights and economic justice, a beloved leader in Baltimore, and deeply valued colleague. We all reject racist attacks against him and support his steadfast leadership. #ElijahCummingsIsAPatriot
Elite Daily previously reached out to the White House for comment on Pelosi's remarks, but did not hear back. However, on Sunday, July 28, Trump hit back with a series of tweets. He wrote:
Someone please explain to Nancy Pelosi, who was recently called racist by those in her own party, that there is nothing wrong with bringing out the very obvious fact that Congressman Elijah Cummings has done a very poor job for his district and the City of Baltimore.
He continued, "Just take a look, the facts speak far louder than words! The Democrats always play the Race Card, when in fact they have done so little for our Nation’s great African American people. Now, lowest unemployment in U.S. history, and only getting better. Elijah Cummings has failed badly!"
True to form, the president also criticized Nancy Pelosi's district in San Francisco, saying, "Something must be done before it is too late."
Pelosi has not responded to Trump's tweets at the time of publication.
It's likely the Obamas won't be the last to publicly chastise Trump for his recent words, but leave it to the former president and first lady to gracefully call for a higher standard of conduct without personal attacks or divisive language.