President Barack Obama returned to the world stage in a big way on Tuesday and delivered verbal body blows to President Donald Trump, sharply criticizing his successor without mentioning his name.
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Obama’s reprimand of Trump came at an event, watched globally, from Johannesburg to honor the 100th birthday of the late civil rights champion and former South Africa Nelson Mandela, just one day after Trump’s infamous meeting in Helsinki, Norway, with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
At what was dubbed the “Treason Summit,” Trump sided with Putin over America’s intelligence agencies. The intelligence community concluded that Russia interfered with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. One day later Trump denied backing Putin, even though the whole world heard his betrayal of America.
In one of several references to Trump, Obama warned the world about the rise of “strongman politics” and how it was destroying the norms and institutions of democracy.
Here are 29 other subliminal shots Obama took at Trump:
1. “Each day’s news cycle is bringing more head-spinning and disturbing headlines.”
2. We’re living in “strange and uncertain times.”
3. “Unfortunately, too much of politics today seems to reject the very concept of objective truth.”
4. “People just make stuff up.”
5. “We see the utter loss of shame among political leaders when they’re caught in a lie.”
6. Politicians are “caught in a lie and they just double-down and they lie some more.”
7. “It is a plain fact that racial discrimination still exists in both the United States and South Africa.”
8. “There has been an explosion in economic inequality.”
9. “A few dozen individuals control the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of humanity.”
10. “Just ask the French football team that just won the World Cup,” if you doubt the value of diversity.
11. “You have to believe in facts.”
12. “If I say this is a podium and you say this is an elephant, it’s going to be hard for us to cooperate.”
13. “Politicians have always lied, but it used to be if you caught ‘em lying, they’d be like, ‘Aw man.’”
14. “Now they (politicians) just keep on lying!”
15. Obama urged the world to keep respecting human rights and other values.
16. “We see much of the world threatening to return to a more dangerous, more brutal, way of doing business.”
17. Some leaders are pushing a “politics of fear, resentment, retrenchment.”
18. The politics of fear is moving “at a pace unimaginable just a few years ago.”
19. “I would have thought we had figured out [the value of diversity] by now.”
20. Countries that exploit xenophobia “eventually … find themselves consumed by civil war or external war.”
21. Obama warned about the consequences of denying facts—like climate change.
22. “I say if people can learn to hate, they can be taught to love.”
23. “I believe in a vision of equality.”
24. “I believe in a vision of justice.”
25. “I believe in a vision of freedom.
26. “I believe in a vision shared by Gandhi and King and Abraham Lincoln.”
27. “I believe in a vision of multi-racial democracy.”
28. “I believe in the premise that all people are created equal.”
29. “Ultimately the better story can win out,” Obama said, encouraging young people to keep fighting.
Watch Obama’s full speech below.
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