President Barack Obama criticized Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, saying he is unprepared to be commander-in-chief and is undermining America's core values.
In an interview with CBS, Obama had strong words for the presidential nominee and claimed that a Trump presidency would do the exact opposite of making America great again.
“If we start engaging in the kinds of proposals that we’ve heard from Mr. Trump or some of his surrogates like [former Republican House Speaker Newt] Gingrich, where we start suggesting that we would apply religious tests to who could come in here, that we are screening Muslim Americans differently than we would others, then we are betraying that very thing that makes America exceptional,” Obama said, reports The Huffington Post.
The president went on to chastise Trump for saying he would refuse to stand by Baltic NATO states if they were attacked by Russia.
"[NATO] was built by Democrats and Republicans and has been a cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy since the end of World War II,” said Obama. “And, you know for Mr. Trump, who has in the past suggested that America’s weak and not looking out for its allies, to then maybe not have enough information or understanding to go out and say that America might not stand by its solemn commitment to protect those same allies who stood with us after 9/11 when we were attacked, I think, is an indication of the lack of preparedness that he has been displaying when it comes to foreign policy.”
Some critics think that Obama has spent too much time focused on the election instead of running the country. In his speech to the nation after the Dallas police shooting, for example, the president denounced Trump saying that he "doesn't reflect our democratic ideals," according to CNN.
Trump responded, saying Obama was "more angry at me than he was at the shooter."
Mike Rogers, former head of the House Intelligence Committee, said to CNN that involving Trump in a national address about a tragedy was a mistake. "This was the chance for the president to try to bring us together. I think he is so focused on this presidential campaign he let himself go," said Rogers. "I just don't think it looked presidential."
Others believe Obama's comments are a move to assure foreign allies that the current U.S.government does not align itself with Trump's seemingly extremist beliefs.
"I think the key for President Obama -- is he is talking to the world," said presidential historian Douglas Brinkley to CNN. "President Obama wanted to make clear that the United States government, the federal government says no to what Donald Trump is suggesting, that it is hateful bigotry."