In a fiery speech at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, former President Barack Obama criticized President Trump on Friday over his failure to stand up to Nazi sympathizers after the deadly 2017 Charlottesville rally, saying: “How hard can that be?”
Trump faced widespread criticism after he said that there were “very fine people” on “both sides” of the demonstration and also blamed “both sides” equally for the violence that broke out last summer between white supremacists and their opponents in Charlottesville, Va.
“We are Americans. We’re supposed to stand up to bullies, not follow them,” Obama said. “We’re supposed to stand up to discrimination and we’re sure as heck supposed to stand up clearly and unequivocally to Nazi sympathizers.”
“How hard can that be? Saying that Nazis are bad.”
Obama just called out Trump for his reaction to Charlottesville: "How hard can that be, saying that Nazis are bad?" pic.twitter.com/44J8tXCnUy
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) September 7, 2018
The Hill added:
Trump drew intense criticism last year after he suggested that both neo-Nazis and counterprotesters were equally responsible for the violence that erupted at rally led by racist groups in Charlottesville.
Since leaving office last year, Obama has offered only occasional, veiled criticisms of Trump. His remarks on Friday marked the first time he went after the president by name.
Trump reportedly called his condemnation of neo-Nazis and white supremacists after the deadly 2017 Charlottesville rally the “biggest f-cking mistake” he ever made, according to an excerpt from legendary Watergate reporter Bob Woodward’s new book that was obtained by The Washington Post.