Former President Barack Obama speaks in support of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden during a drive-in rally on October 24, 2020 in North Miami, Florida.
Obama opens up about Trump's birtherism conspiracy
02:56 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

Former President Barack Obama slammed Republican officials for condoning President Donald Trump’s false claims of election fraud in the wake of his loss to Joe Biden, saying in an interview clip released Thursday that such allegations endangered democracy.

“They appear to be motivated, in part, because the President doesn’t like to lose, and never admits loss,” Obama told CBS’ Scott Pelley. “I’m more troubled by the fact that other Republican officials who clearly know better are going along with this, are humoring him in this fashion.”

“It is one more step in delegitimizing, not just the incoming Biden administration, but democracy generally,” Obama continued. “And that’s a dangerous path.”

The full interview, the former president’s first since the election, airs Sunday on CBS.

Obama’s comments come as Trump has continued to question the legitimacy of the vote count in key battleground states that have been the subject of much scrutiny. Meanwhile, Republican leaders in Congress have either urged Trump not to concede or have stayed silent despite no evidence of widespread fraud.

But cracks are growing in the GOP defense of Trump’s long-shot effort to overturn the election outcome, with many top Republicans contending that Biden should immediately get national security briefings, some calling for the official transition process to begin and others acknowledging that Trump stands little chance of reversing results that clearly show he lost.

Obama hit the campaign trail in October to stump for his former vice president. He made three solo appearances going into the last stretch, relishing his return to the trail to help deliver a closing argument against his successor.

Obama’s comments released Thursday coincide with CNN reporting on the first volume of his post-presidency memoir. Obama directly confronts Trump’s racist politics in the book, bluntly suggesting how he believes his own historic election in 2008 opened a wave of bitter and divisive turmoil that fueled Republicans’ obstructionism and ultimately changed the party, according to a copy obtained by CNN.

CNN’s Keith Allen, Eric Bradner, Manu Raju, Ted Barrett, Dan Merica, Kevin Liptak, Jeff Zeleny, David Wright and Rebecca Buck contributed to this report.