Former President Barack Obama beat his successor Donald Trump on Saturday to address the coronavirus pandemic, saying the deadly shooting of an unarmed black jogger in Georgia shows America is still uneven.
In an online class speech of 2020, which this year graduated from historically black colleges and universities, the 44th president did not name Trump by name, but there was no mistake as to who he meant.
“More than anything, this pandemic has finally torn open the curtain on the idea that so many executives know what they are doing,” Obama told graduates on Saturday.
“Many of them don’t even pretend to be in charge.”
Obama urged the graduating class to assume leadership leadership and said, “If the world gets better, it’s up to you.”
Former President Barack Obama delivered an online speech to graduates from historically black colleges and universities on Saturday
The country’s first black president also alluded to the Ahmaud Arbery case, which sparked outrage after video of the unarmed black jogger’s deadly shooting surfacing online and going viral.
Arbery, 25, was addressed by two armed white men while jogging in his Georgia neighborhood on February 23.
The two men claimed they suspected Arbery had been linked to recent burglaries in the area and were legally allowed to detain him until law enforcement officers arrived.
After a struggle in which Arbery tried to flee, he was shot. A video of the incident shows that he sinks to the ground after being stopped by the two men.
Public outcry intensified when local authorities were told that they refused to prosecute the men, who were known to be friends with public prosecutors.
It took over two months for the authorities to arrest and accuse Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son, Travis McMichael, 34, of murder.
Obama told HBCU graduates on Saturday that the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed a disproportionately large number of African American victims, “highlights only the underlying inequalities and additional burdens historically black communities in this country have faced.”
Obama also reported the February 23 murder of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery (above), who was fatally shot by two armed white men who spoke to him while jogging in his Georgia neighborhood.
Gregory McMichael (left) and his son, Travis McMichael (right) are accused of murdering Arbery in February
The leaked video of the incident went viral and led to the arrests of Gregory and Travis McMichael
Local authorities initially refused to arrest and prosecute the McMichaels, but state authorities intervened and arrested the two men after the video leaked online and went viral
The inequalities are not only visible in the area of public health, but also ‘just as we see it when a black man goes for a jog, and some people feel they can stop and question and shoot him if he doesn’t Questioning.’
Obama, who has been largely silent since leaving the White House in January 2017, has vowed to be more involved in trying to help his vice president, Joe Biden, win the presidency this fall.
Last week, former President Trump struck because of his response to the pandemic, calling his government’s efforts an “utterly chaotic disaster.”
Obama also blamed the current resident of the Oval Office and his allies for exacerbating “tribal” tensions across the country, which he said have hindered efforts to reduce the overall number of cases across the country.
Audio of the web call in which Obama spoke was obtained by Yahoo News.
“What we’re fighting against are these long-term trends in which selfish, tribal, divided, and perceiving others as an enemy – that has become a stronger impulse in American life,” said the president.
“And we also see that internationally.
Trump has come under attack from the Democrats for tackling the corona virus pandemic. Pictured, Trump is speaking to the White House press on Friday
“It is part of the reason why the response to this global crisis was so anemic and blotchy.
“It would have been bad even with the best governments.
“It was an absolutely chaotic disaster when that mentality – of” what does it get me “and” to deal with everyone “- when that mentality is operationalized in our government.”
Obama added, “That’s why I’m going to spend as much time as I need and campaign for Joe Biden.”
Trump has been beaten by Democrats for his government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has so far claimed the lives of more than 88,000 Americans and infected nearly 1.5 million others.
The president has denied that some of his top executives, including Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and White House trade advisor Peter Navarro, warned him in January that a pandemic would have devastating consequences for Americans.
Trump has also been accused of his government’s failure to develop a plan to run readily available tests so that Americans can isolate those infected with the coronavirus.
While Trump has been largely portrayed as absent, state governors have led the way in imposing closures, urging the public to uphold social distance guidelines.
Trump has even lashed out at various governors, most notably Democrats like Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, while urging his supporters to ‘free’ those states from closure, even as health experts from his own government continued to encourage Americans to maintain social distance.
The President has also made comments that have led to mockery of the public, including his suggestion that disinfectant cleansers can be absorbed into the body to treat COVID-19.
Trump, for his part, has claimed that his decision to end travel from China has saved lives, although the government has allowed flights from China to continue landing in the country with U.S. citizens and legal residents.
The current president, meanwhile, tweeted on Saturday, “OBAMAGATE!”
Trump has accused Obama and his vice president, Joe Biden, of wrondoing in the Michael Flynn case. Flynn’s talks with the Russian ambassador to the United States were picked up by the US intelligence agency during the Obama administration, leading to allegations of “espionage”
Trump and his supporters have alleged that Obama acted incorrectly in the investigation that led to Michael Flynn’s arrest and prosecution.
Flynn, who was fired as Trump’s national security for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
As part of the plea, he was forced to acknowledge under oath that he had lied to the FBI and violated federal law. It is a crime to be in court under oath.
WHAT IS UNMASK?
During routine, statutory oversight of foreign targets, occasional names of Americans emerge in conversations. Foreigners can speak of a U.S. citizen or a permanent U.S. resident, or a foreigner can speak directly to an American. When the name of an American is shaken under the supervision of foreigners, it is called ‘incidental collection’. In these cases, the American’s name is masked before the information is distributed to the administration to avoid violating that person’s privacy.
Unless there is a clear intelligence value to knowing the name of the American, it will not be disclosed in the reports. The intelligence report only refers to the person as “ U.S. Person 1 ‘or American person 2.’ If U.S. officials, with appropriate permission to review the report, want to know the identity, they may ask the agency that collected the information, perhaps the FBI, the CIA, or the National Security Agency, to “unmask” the name.
Unmasking requests is common, said Michael Morell, former CIA deputy director and host of the podcast “Intelligence Matters.”
“Literally hundreds of times a year across multiple administrations. Generally, senior officials make requests as needed to understand the underlying intelligence. I have done it myself several times a month and NSA is reviewing the request. You can’t do your job without it, ”he said.
Morell emphasized that exposure is not the same as release. “When a name is exposed, the underlying intelligence to include the name remains so leaky that it is a crime.
WHEN WOULD AN INTELLIGENCE AGENT UNMASK A NAME?
The application is not automatically granted. The questioner must have good reason. Usually the reason is that if you don’t know the name, it is impossible to fully understand the information provided.
The name will only be released if the officer who requests it needs to know and the “identity is needed to understand or assess its importance, foreign intelligence information,” according to the agency’s latest report from the director of National Intelligence, which reports about unmasking. “Additional approval by a designated NSA officer is also required.”
Former NSA director Mike Rogers said only 20 of his employees were able to approve a exposure. The names are only shared with the specific officer who requested it. They are not made public. Leakage of a name or classified information is illegal.
HOW OFTEN ARE NAMUR INCOMPATIBLE?
The number of debunking requests was released to the public following recommendations made in 2014 by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Council.
There were 9,217 unmask requests in the 12-month period between September 2015 and August 2016, the first period when numbers are public. The period was in the Obama administration’s final years.
The number increased during the Trump administration. The 9,529 requests in 2017 grew to 16,721 in 2018 and 10,012 last year.
In January, Flynn filed judicial documents to withdraw his confession, saying federal prosecutors had acted “in bad faith” and broke their agreement while seeking prison terms for him.
Initially, prosecutors said Flynn had the right to avoid jail time for working extensively with the government, but the relationship with retired army lieutenant general became increasingly controversial in the months before his plea was withdrawn, especially after he released a new one. hired a series of lawyers. who have raised allegations of misconduct against the government.
But the Justice Department filed a motion last week to dismiss the case, saying that the FBI had insufficient basis to question Flynn in the first place and that statements he made during the interview were irrelevant to the broader counter-intelligence investigation into the ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.
The judge who presided over Flynn’s criminal case hired a retired lawyer on Wednesday to assess whether the Trump administration’s former national security adviser should be criminally convicted for his confession of guilt.
Trump blamed Biden this week for disclosures that Biden had requested to “unmask” Flynn’s name in foreign intelligence reports, a procedure that allowed unsupervised surveillance of the then-incoming national security adviser during the presidential transition.
Biden was identified Wednesday as belonging to a group of Obama administration officials who “exposed” the name of Mike Flynn in U.S. intelligence reports.
A National Security Agency document, signed by Director General Paul Nakasone, lists Biden as one of those who requested and may have received information about Flynn in the last days of the Obama administration or was otherwise involved in his exposure.
The leaked memo immediately sparked a collision in Washington, tearing President Donald Trump Biden, his presumed 2020 opponent, for unmasking, which he linked to the prosecution of Flynn, which he called a disgrace.
“Seeing what’s happening to him is a shame,” Trump said of Flynn.
“And it was all a ruse. And besides, the FBI said he wasn’t lying, “Trump said at the White House on Wednesday.
Trump released on Obama this week over the prosecution of Flynn in an interview with Fox Business that aired Thursday morning.
“It was the biggest political crime in the history of our country,” said Trump.
“If I were a Democrat rather than a Republican, I think everyone would have been in prison long ago, and I’m talking about fifty-year sentences now. It is a shame what happened. ‘
Trump also tweeted, “If I were a senator or congressman, the first person I would call to testify about the biggest political crime and scandal in US history would be former President Obama’s FAR. He knew EVERYTHING. Do it @LindseyGrahamSC, just do it. No Mr. Nice Guy more. No talking! ‘
But Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, won’t call Obama because he said on Thursday that the idea was impractical because of “executive privileges.”
Biden hit back, saying Trump was trying to distract from the mishandling of the coronavirus.
“It’s about diverting attention from the horrible way he acted,” said Biden.
“We don’t have a coronavirus because of him, but we have its devastating impact because of his lack of policy, because of his lack of action.
“It’s all about distraction.”