Biden will become the nation's 46th president after he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris claimed victory a couple weeks ago. Trump's administration, however, is making the transition difficult for Biden's team. In an interview with NPR about this year's election cycle, Obama said Trump's resistance to a peaceful transfer of power as "yet one more example of how [his] breach of basic democratic norms is hurting the American people."
"I'm distressed that you haven't seen more Republican leadership make this clear, because the amount of time that's being lost in this transition process has real-world effects," Obama told All Things Considered host Michel Martin. "Look, we're in the middle of a pandemic. We're in the middle of an economic crisis. We have serious national security issues."
Trump's campaign has also launched many legal battles in some swing states over the 2020 election results. His lawyers, however, has so far provided unproven allegations of voter fraud -- something election officials nationwide has debunked last week. Even top officials in the Department of Homeland Security noted that the 2020 cycle is the "most secure" election in American history.
The former president also noted that Trump's behavior was a "total departure" from how he and his staff were treated by George W. Bush in 2008, the last Republican president occupy the White House before Trump.
"For all the differences that I had with George W. Bush, he and his administration could not have been more gracious and effective in working with us to facilitate a smooth transition," Obama said, adding that he was "immediately debriefed" about many issues by top Bush administration officials. This allowed Obama and his team to "hit the ground running" when it came to issues like the economic crisis and the conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.
NPR also questioned Obama about bipartisanship. Republicans have backed Trump's ability to contest the results, but criticized the president's false claims regarding the election. Obama noted that Biden is going to have to work with Republican colleagues.
"There is a way to reach out and not be a sap," he said. "There's a way of consistently offering the possibility of cooperation but recognizing that if Mitch McConnell or others are refusing to cooperate, at some point you've got to take it to the court of public opinion."
Photo: Getty Images