Obama denounces Trump's 'reality show' presidency

Obama denounces Trump's 'reality show' presidency

Former U.S. president Barack Obama has accused Donald Trump of treating the U.S. presidency like a "reality show" and "making stuff up" as he warned that his successor was willing to "tear down democracy" to get a second term in the White House. 

In a cutting speech Obama hit out at "the meanness and the lies and crazy conspiracy theories" which have left some young people disillusioned with the current state of politics.

"I have sat in the Oval Office with both of the men who are running for president," Obama said in one of his most biting passages, talking about Mr Trump and Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee and former U.S. vice president.

"I never expected that my successor would embrace my vision or continue my policies. I did hope, for the sake of our country, that Donald Trump might show some interest in taking the job seriously; that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care," The Telegraph cited him as saying.

"But he never did. For close to four years now, he’s shown no interest in putting in the work; no interest in finding common ground; no interest in using the awesome power of his office to help anyone but himself and his friends; no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves," Obama stressed.

He added: "Donald Trump hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t."

Elsewhere the former head of state targeted Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, a central theme running throughout this week's Democratic convention, saying getting through the crisis "depends on a fidelity to facts and science and logic and not just making stuff up."

Obama also repeatedly warned democracy was at risk, an apparent reference to the growing concerns Trump is undercutting the postal voting system, saying: "This administration has shown it will tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes to win."