Former US President Barack Obama reportedly revealed to supporters this week what’s keeping him awake at night.
Obama, during a virtual fundraiser for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden on Tuesday, said he feared the prospect of President Donald Trump questioning the legitimacy of the 2020 election, The New York Times reported on Thursday.
In the online event with actor George Clooney, Obama also reportedly expressed grave concern about Republican voter suppression efforts.
In public, Obama’s criticism of his successor has mostly been muted, and he rarely mentions Trump by name. In private fundraising appearances, however, Obama has explicitly called out Trump multiple times, according to the Times.
In an online exchange with Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, Obama reportedly said Trump tries to redirect “the fears and anger and resentment of people who, in some cases, really are having a tough time and have seen their prospects, or communities where they left, declining” in “nativist, racist, sexist ways.”
During another with LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Obama said Trump’s use of racist terms to describe the coronavirus “still shocks and pisses me off.”
A spokesperson for Obama did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment. His office did not dispute the remarks attributed to him in the Times, the newspaper reported.
Obama officially endorsed Biden in April with a 12-minute video in which he hailed his former vice president for having “the character and the experience to guide us through one of our darkest times and heal us through a long recovery.”
In a video that the Biden campaign released last week, Obama called out Trump for failing to take responsibility for his administration’s disastrous handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Can you imagine standing up when you were president and saying ’it’s not my responsibility, I take no responsibility,’” Biden asked Obama in the clip. “I mean literally. Literally.”
Obama agreed. “Those words didn’t come out of our mouths when we were in office.”