Obama is encouraged by the nationwide protests that have resulted from the sweeping mandates issued by Donald Trump during his first days in office.
The first 10 days of Donald Trump's presidency have been about as chaotic as even his harshest critics could have imagined. Almost all of his policy reversals and executive orders -- such as the building of the wall and this weekend's ban on immigration from several Muslim-majority countries -- have been met with nationwide protests. During this span, his predecessor has been silent, as he has been on a much-needed vacation with his family. Today, Obama issued his first statement since leaving office.
The statement, issued by his spokesman, Kevin Lewis, does not mention Trump or any of his specific actions, though it does imply that Obama feels that "American values are at stake." It begins on a positive note, as Obama is apparently "heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities across the country."
In responding to backlash against what has been widely referred to as his Muslim ban, Trump defended his executive order on immigration by comparing it to "what President Obama did in 2011." Obama's indirect statement denounces the comparison, stating, "the President [Obama] fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of faith."
Read the full statement below.
President Obama is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country. In his final official speech as President, he spoke about the important role of citizens and how all Americans have a responsibility to be the guardians of our democracy — not just during an election but every day.
Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.
With regard to comparisons to President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, as we’ve heard before, the President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith.