Former President Obama said in an interview that it’s “disappointing” more Republican lawmakers are not challenging President Trump, who is continuing to push unsubstantiated conspiracy theories around the election after his projected defeat.
Obama made the comments in a wide-ranging interview with CBS’s Gayle King in which he also discussed campaigning for his former vice president and reflected on his time in the White House as he promotes his new memoir, “A Promised Land.”
In the interview, King pressed Obama about the tumultuous start to the transition of power between the Trump administration and President-elect Joe Biden's incoming administration.
“It's clear as we sit here today we're not gonna have a peaceful transition. I think about [Sen.] John McCain [R-Ariz.] calling, George and Laura Bush welcoming you and Michelle Obama to the White House,” King said.
“Could not have been more gracious,” the former president said.
King then recalled Obama meeting with Trump at the White House shortly after the 2016 presidential election, when Obama told the then-president-elect, “We now are going to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed then the country succeeds.”
“He does not seem to have taken a page out of any of those playbooks,” King said, to which Obama responded, laughing, “No.”
King then further pressed Obama about some of the support Trump has been seeing from Republicans in Congress as the president continues to challenge the election results following Biden’s projected victory in the race.
“That has been disappointing,” Obama said. “But it's been sort of par for the course during these four years. They obviously didn’t think there was any fraud going on 'cause they didn’t say anything about it for the first two days.”
“But there's damage to this because what happens is that the peaceful transfer of power, the notion that any of us who attain an elected office, whether it's dogcatcher or president, are servants of the people. It's a temporary job,” he said.
“We're not above the rules. We're not above the law. That's the essence of our democracy,” he added.
Since Biden was projected to win the race last Saturday, Trump has refused to accept election results, claiming the race was “rigged” while his reelection campaign has launched legal challenges in multiple states.
Earlier on Sunday, Trump said in a tweet that his Democratic opponent had won while still pushing unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about the race.
"He won because the Election was Rigged," Trump wrote.
The president added later that the post was not meant as a concession.