In a private phone call leaked to Yahoo News Friday, former president Barack Obama responded to Michael Flynn's criminal case being dropped by saying that "the rule of law is at risk," and blamed President Trump for a more "tribal, selfish, and divided" America as he stressed the importance of beating the president in the November election.
"What we're fighting against is these long-term trends in which being selfish, being tribal, being divided, and seeing others as an enemy — that has become a stronger impulse in American life," he said.
Reacting to the Flynn case, Obama voiced alarm:
"The news over the last 24 hours I think has been somewhat downplayed — about the Justice Department dropping charges against Michael Flynn," Obama said. "And the fact that there is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free. That's the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that basic — not just institutional norms — but our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk. And when you start moving in those directions, it can accelerate pretty quickly as we've seen in other places."
Obama also slammed Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic as "an absolute chaotic disaster":
"It has been an absolute chaotic disaster when that mindset — of ‘what's in it for me' and ‘to heck with everybody else' — when that mindset is operationalized in our government. That's why, I, by the way, am going to be spending as much time as necessary and campaigning as hard as I can for Joe Biden."
"So I am hoping that all of you feel the same sense of urgency that I do," he said. "Whenever I campaign, I've always said, ‘Ah, this is the most important election.' Especially obviously when I was on the ballot, that always feels like it's the most important election. This one — I'm not on the ballot — but I am pretty darn invested. We got to make this happen."