Obama says Republicans 'clearly know better,' but are 'humoring' Trump about voter fraud


Former President Barack Obama took aim at Republicans who have been “humoring” President Trump’s bogus claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election.

In an interview with “60 Minutes” that will air Sunday, Obama was asked what he made of the “false claims of widespread election fraud” Trump has been making since the race was called in favor of Joe Biden.

"They appear to be motivated, in part, because the president doesn't like to lose and never admits loss," Obama responded, adding, “I’m more troubled by the fact that other Republican officials who clearly know better are going along with this, are humoring him in this fashion.”

Obama was interviewed by “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley about his memoir “A Promised Land.” CBS released a short excerpt that dealt with the 2020 election and Trump’s refusal to concede.

Just a handful of Republican office holders have offered their congratulations to President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and the Trump campaign has pursued more than a dozen legal challenges to the election results.

Trump’s legal team has come up with scant evidence of voter fraud, and none with the potential to change the outcome in any of the battleground states. On Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security joined election officials in states across the country as well as international election monitors in disputing claims of widespread fraud.

“The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history,” two committees at DHS in charge of overseeing elections said in a statement, adding, “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.”

Barack Obama
Obama campaigning for Joe Biden in Miami on the day before the election. (Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images)

Several high-ranking Washington Republicans have either stayed silent about Trump’s claims, supported his right to pursue his allegations in court or fully embraced the charge of fraud.

“President Trump won this election,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in an interview with Fox News on Thursday. With Georgia and North Carolina not yet called, Biden, according to vote counts by the Associated Press and other media organizations including Fox News, has already topped the 270 electoral vote threshold needed to win the presidency. He also leads Trump by more than 5 million popular votes.

The theory that Trump was the victim of a conspiracy to deny him reelection has taken root among Trump’s supporters. A Politico/Morning Consult poll released this week found that 70 percent of Republicans believe this year’s election was not “free and fair.”

Obama told “60 Minutes” that the motive for creating mistrust in the election was clear.

“It is one more step in delegitimizing not just the incoming Biden administration, but democracy generally. And that’s a dangerous path,” Obama said.


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