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“Selfish, tribal and divided” Obama warns he sees changes to American way under Trump

In new leaked audio, ex-President Barack Obama slammed President Trump’s response to the coronavirus as an “absolute chaotic disaster.”

“What we’re fighting against is these long-term trends in which being selfish, being tribal, being divided, and seeing others as an enemy”.

The Independent reports Barack Obama said the “rule of law is at risk” following the justice department’s decision to drop charges against former Trump advisor Mike Flynn, as he issued a stark warning about the long-term impact on the American way of life by his successor.

Mr Obama, who has largely stayed out of the public spotlight since leaving office, said there was “no precedent” for the move to drop charges against Mr Flynn, as he gave some of his harshest criticism of the Trump administration to date.

“The news over the last 24 hours I think has been somewhat downplayed — about the Justice Department dropping charges against Michael Flynn,” Mr Obama said in a web talk with members of the Obama Alumni Association, a recording of which was leaked.

“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.

“When you start moving in those directions, it can accelerate pretty quickly as we’ve seen in other places,” he added in the recording, which was obtained by Yahoo News.

The US justice department dropped its criminal case against Mr Flynn, Donald Trump’s first national security advisor, whom prosecutors accused of lying to the FBI during an investigation into ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.

In court documents filed on Thursday, the justice department said it was dropping the case “after a considered review of all the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information”.

The decision represents a dramatic turnaround in the long-running case, which was one of the central prosecutions to be brought by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his investigation into Russia meddling in the 2016 election.

Mr Obama also spoke of his determination to unseat Mr Trump in November’s election, characterising the 2020 vote as crucial in defeating Trump’s impact on political life.

“This election that’s coming up on every level is so important because what we’re going to be battling is not just a particular individual or a political party,” he said.

“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.”