Former President Barack Obama said in an interview with on the “Pod Save America” podcast Wednesday that President Donald Trump’s allegations the Obama administration spied on his campaign were “absurd.”
Partial transcript as follows:
VIETOR: President Trump keeps tweeting that the attorney general should indict you or indict Vice President Biden for spying on his campaign. The allegation is absurd. It’s false. It’s seemingly part of just his general rage at any discussion of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. It’s remarkable to me how used to this kind of language the D.C. has become, the press corps has become. Is it weird for you when he tweets that you should be indicted?
OBAMA: Well, look, as you said, this is something that even his, you know, his fellow Republicans tend to just pretend it doesn’t happen.
VIETOR Didn’t read the tweet.
OBAMA: Yeah. I didn’t read the tweet. They kind of dodge reporters when they’re asked about it. The allegations are so absurd that even Republican-controlled committees looking into it have dismissed them. And, you know. Attorney General Barr has dismissed them. But you know, this is an example, I think, of a larger problem. Well, two larger problems. Which don’t get as much attention, understandably, when you’ve got high unemployment and a pandemic raging because it doesn’t touch people’s day to day lives. But one of the central foundation stones of a democracy is the idea that you do not, you do not allow the politicization of the criminal justice system, the intelligence system, the military. Right? That that is stuff that you keep out of politics right now. Because it’s too dangerous. You want, you can’t have a democracy in which political opponents are subject to this kind of inflammatory language. Now, he did the same thing with Hillary and the ‘lock her up’ theme. And so I’m not surprised by it, that it continues. I’m disappointed that Republicans who know better have not checked him on this. And I think on a very important question after the election, even if it goes well with Joe Biden, is whether you start seeing the Republican Party restore some sense of ‘here are norms that we can’t breach’ because he’s breached all of them and they have not said to him, ‘this is too far.’
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