Obama aims criticism at Trump in eulogy for civil rights leader

International Desk
31 July 2020, Fri
Published: 10:45

Obama aims criticism at Trump in eulogy for civil rights leader

Former US President Barack Obama launched his sharpest attack to date on President Donald Trump on Thursday, condemning the use of federal agents against protesters and attempts at voter suppression in the United States.

"Today we witness with our own eyes, police officers kneeling on the necks of Black Americans," Obama said in a fiery eulogy at the emotional funeral service in Atlanta of civil rights leader John Lewis.

"We can witness our federal government sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators," the former president said.

Obama did not mention Trump by name, but he was clearly referencing moves by the Republican president, who used troops to clear protesters from Lafayette Square outside the White House and sent federal agents to put down demonstrations in Portland, Oregon.

Obama took a jab at alleged Republican attempts to suppress the minority vote and Trump's repeated attacks on mail-in voting less than 100 days ahead of the November contest against Democrat Joe Biden, reports Al Jazeera.

He said even as we sit here, there are those in power who are doing their darndest to discourage people from voting by closing polling locations and targeting minorities and students with restrictive ID laws and attacking our voting rights with surgical precision, even undermining the postal service in the run-up to an election that's going to be dependent on mail-in ballots so people don't get sick.