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60 Minutes Video: Obama goes after Trump, ‘think beyond your own ego,’ says ‘time to concede’

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
November 17, 2020

Former President Barack Obama criticized President Donald Trump in a recent interview for not conceding the 2020 election results. Trump has raised a number of lawsuits over the election results after several U.S. media outlets called the race for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

The former president, in an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes that aired Monday, said that when a president’s time in office is up, “Think beyond your own ego, and your own interests, and your own disappointments.” He added his advice for Trump, “It’s time for you to do the same thing.”

During the interview, 60 Minutes Host Scott Pelley asked Obama, “In your view, it is time for [Trump] to concede?”

“Absolutely. Well, I mean, I think it was time for him to concede probably– the day after the election– or at the latest, two days after the election,” Obama said. “When you look at the numbers objectively, Joe Biden will have won handily. There is no scenario in which any of those states would turn the other way, and certainly not enough to reverse the outcome of the election.”

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Trump held a lead in a number of key battleground states on election night and for several days after the election. Biden took leads in some of those states days after the election as votes continued to be counted. Trump has also raised lawsuits in Arizona, Nevada, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, and last week Georgia began a recount of its votes.

Earlier in the interview, Obama said, “A president is a public servant. They are temporary occupants of the office, by design. And when your time is up then it is your job to put the country first and think beyond your own ego, and your own interests, and your own disappointments. My advice to President Trump is, if you want at this late stage in the game to be remembered as somebody who put country first, it’s time for you to do the same thing.”

Currently, Trump is down about 73,000 votes in Pennsylvania, about 11,000 votes in Arizona, about 34,000 votes in Nevada, and about 14,000 votes in Georgia.

Thus far, Georgia’s recount has found about 2,600 previously uncounted votes in a single county, with 1,643 for Trump and 865 for Biden, cutting Biden’s lead in Georgia by about 800 votes.

During his interview, Obama also said the Trump White House is declining to assist Biden in the transition process.

Obama said, “Our adversaries have seen us weakened, not just as a consequence of this election, but over the last several years.”

Former First Lady Michelle Obama, in her own comments in a Monday Instagram post, said, “I want to urge all Americans, especially our nation’s leaders, regardless of party, to honor the electoral process and do your part to encourage a smooth transition of power, just as sitting presidents have done throughout our history.

Last week, former President George W. Bush said Trump has the right to pursue his legal challenges to the election results.

“President Trump has the right to request recounts and pursue legal challenges, and any unresolved issues will be properly adjudicated,” Bush said.