Barack Obama appeared to criticize President Trump during a discussion on Saturday. AP
Barack Obama appeared to critique his successor during a panel discussion marking the late Nelson Mandela’s birthday at Washington's Museum of African American History and Culture.
In videos posted online of the discussion, Obama said: “Leaders who feed fear typically are also ones who avoid facts.”
The comment was interpreted by many as a criticism of the current president, though Obama did not name Trump specifically.
“There is always a struggle between hope and fear — between the world as it is, and how we’d like it to be,” Obama continued.
“During times of tumult and disruption — whether it’s technological, economic, information, migration — the danger of us resorting to fear, to organize ourselves by falling back on tribe, race, ethnicity, sectarian lines, that always becomes stronger.
“That’s been true in this country, you can actually track that when the economy is doing better, typically our politics is less divided. It gets more divided when people are feeling insecure and anxious. It’s true in South Africa, it’s true everywhere. The good news is that fear is typically the province of the old. And hope is the province of the young.”
Obama has avoided openly criticizing Trump since leaving office, with his most direct attack coming ahead of the 2018 midterms when he accused Trump of “capitalizing on resentment that politicians have been fanning for years.”
"It did not start with Donald Trump, he is a symptom, not the cause,” Obama told a group of students in Illinois, according to CNN.
“He is just capitalizing on resentment that politicians have been fanning for years. A fear, an anger that is rooted in our past but is also borne in our enormous upheavals that have taken place in your brief lifetimes.”