In his first on-camera interview since the election of President-elect Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama said that it is “absolutely” time for President Donald Trump to concede and urged the president to adhere to the norms of democracy.
“There are a set of traditions that we have followed in the peaceful transfer of power — the outgoing president congratulates the incoming president, instructs the government and the agencies to cooperate with the new government coming in, invite the president-elect to the Oval Office,” Obama said during his “60 Minutes” interview which aired on Sunday.
He continued, “And then on Inauguration Day, the president invites the president-elect to the White House. There’s a small reception and then you drive to the Inauguration site and the outgoing president sits there, is part of the audience, as the new president is sworn in and at that point, the outgoing president is a citizen like everybody else… Whether Donald Trump will do the same thing, we’ll have to see.”
See Obama’s comments below:
“There are a set of traditions that we have followed in the peaceful transfer of power…. Whether Donald Trump will [follow those,] we'll have to see. So far, that's not been his approach. But you know, hope springs eternal,” says Barack Obama. https://t.co/LIMWqL3Uyq pic.twitter.com/zQxNAuI3ST— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) November 16, 2020
Asked what advice he has for Trump, 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.”
He added, “My advice to President Trump is if you want at this late stage of the game to be remembered as somebody who put country first, it’s time for you to do the same thing.”
Asked if he believes it is time for Trump to concede, Obama said, “Absolutely.”
“I think it was time for him to concede probably the day after the election. Or at the latest, two days after the election. 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.”
Trump still insists that he won the election.
Watch the video below:
Former President Barack Obama says President Trump should concede: “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.” https://t.co/Sv7vR0RzkU pic.twitter.com/UPJ5RXbb8C— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) November 16, 2020
The interview comes as the former president prepares to release his third memoir later this week, which will be titled “A Promised Land.” In the book, Obama writes about the rise of former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin and Trump.