Read the full transcript of Obama’s fiery anti-Trump speech
Barack Obama is done holding back.
The former president unloaded on President Trump — by name — and Republicans in Congress during a blistering speech at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign on Friday, urging students in the audience to vote in an election he called a turning point.
“It did not start with Donald Trump,” Obama said. “He is a symptom, not the cause.” But he went on to criticize Trump and Republicans in Congress at length, calling out coziness with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, Trump’s tweets about the Justice Department investigating Republicans, the president’s reluctance to criticize Nazi sympathizers after the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and more.
“Republicans who know better in Congress — and they’re there, they’re quoted saying, Yeah, we know this is kind of crazy — are still bending over backward to shield this behavior from scrutiny or accountability,” he said.