And he called Obama “classless” for criticizing Trump’s response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, which has so far claimed more than 80,000 lives in the U.S.
In a private call last week with former members of his administration, Obama called Trump’s handling of the matter “an absolute chaotic disaster,” as reported by Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News. Obama also warned that “the rule of law is at risk” after Trump’s Justice Department dropped charges against former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn.
McConnell believes Obama shouldn’t have said anything.
“I think President Obama should’ve kept his mouth shut,” he said in an interview with Lara Trump, who is the president’s daughter-in-law and an adviser to his reelection campaign.
“I think it’s a little bit classless, frankly, to critique an administration that comes after you,” he said. “You had your shot. You were there for eight years.”
Sen. Mitch McConnell: "President Obama should've kept his mouth shut... It's a little bit classless, frankly, to critique an administration that comes after you. You had your shot." https://t.co/9jamjiGV0P pic.twitter.com/bj3EQhLKd9
— The Hill (@thehill) May 12, 2020
Obama was initially largely silent on Trump.
However, in recent weeks they’ve each taken a few public swipes at the other.
Without mentioning Trump, Obama last month called out the lack of “a coherent national plan to navigate this pandemic.” And in March ― again without mentioning Trump ― Obama warned of “the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic.”
Trump has been more direct, accusing Obama of the “biggest political crime in American history.”
However, he could not provide any details of the alleged crime, saying only that it’s “very obvious to everybody.”
Trump has also repeatedly blamed his administration’s failure to respond quickly to the crisis on Obama, claiming his predecessor left behind “bad, broken tests.”
COVID-19 didn’t exist until nearly three years after Obama left office.
McConnell has his own history with Obama. In 2010, he declared the “single most important thing” for Republicans was to make Obama a one-term president. And last year, he bragged about blocking Obama’s judicial nominees, then laughed about it.
Users on Twitter called McConnell out for telling a former president of the United States ― and the nation’s first Black president ― to keep his mouth shut:
You know what’s “classless”?Saying the former President of the United States — a grown, free, American man with every right do as he pleases and say what he wants, should “keep his mouth shut.” @senatemajldr McConnell should remember his manners. https://t.co/pYP4zFF1pN
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) May 12, 2020
I’d say Moscow Mitch McConnell stealing a SCOTUS seat, blocking Obama’s warning about Russia’s attacks, helping a Russian Oligarch more than Americans, blocking election security bills, delaying pandemic relief to have a 4 day weekend with pervert Kavanaugh is pretty classless.
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) May 12, 2020
OMG! Let me simply exhale or find that calm app.
McConnell: Obama 'should have kept his mouth shut' on Trump's coronavirus response https://t.co/9Dp0J7fVpk
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) May 12, 2020
Interesting how @senatemajldr and others in the @gop are all for freedom of speech until it's exercised by the former first black president of the United States. Then they're deeply offended.
What's classless now? https://t.co/FvcOyCRakj
— Tracy Hahn-Burkett (@THahnBurkett) May 12, 2020
McConnell is cool with Trump blaming Obama for “broken tests” for a disease that didn’t exist until 2019, but if Obama criticizes Trump then he’s “classless.” https://t.co/JxWzqwF2yu
— Eric Columbus (@EricColumbus) May 12, 2020
I have way too many black friends to not see the racism in the "kept his mouth shut" than to ignore this. Holy fucking shit, @senatemajldr . You're a ride or die kind of guy, huh? https://t.co/MMWQ40w2cj
— David Binkowski (@dbinkowski) May 12, 2020
Trump claiming Obama was an illegitimate President was fine and dandy
Trump suggesting Obama engaged in high treason is a campaign theme to embrace
Obama suggesting that a pandemic response that has left 80K (and counting) dead has been chaotic is classless. https://t.co/LNyym7bZXW
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) May 12, 2020
So like McConnell to tell a Black man to shut his mouth and call him classless. https://t.co/neDvqCqKUe
— Wesley Whistle (@WesleyWhistle) May 12, 2020
“Classless” he says. If you ever wonder whether McConnell is on the level, just read this again. https://t.co/GfigTOSewz
— Ian Bassin (@ianbassin) May 12, 2020
McConnell calling Obama ‘classless’ is huge fodder for late-night comics. And your moment of Zen. https://t.co/fjYzX7abHc
— Jeff Stein (@SpyTalker) May 12, 2020
No, Obama should not have "kept his mouth shut."
You should not have kept an incompetent president in office. https://t.co/HTRpvQMjrO
— Sean Eldridge (@SeanEldridge) May 12, 2020
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.