The animosity between the two ratcheted up during the 2020 presidential campaign, as the duo took turns lobbing insults at one another. Obama called Trump a "two-bit dictator
," in what was a departure from the unwritten rule that American presidents shouldn't disparage their successors. In early 2020, there was also a feud between the two
on who was responsible for the "economic boom" in the United States. A new book claims that Obama not only attacked Trump publicly, but also lashed out at Trump in expletive-laced tirades behind the scenes.
According to the upcoming book, titled "Battle for the Soul: Inside the Democrats' Campaigns to Defeat Donald Trump," Obama castigated then-President Donald Trump while speaking to donors and political advisers ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Obama denounced Trump with a flurry of insults, many of which including vulgar language.
"More often: 'I didn't think it would be this bad.' Sometimes: 'I didn't think we'd have a racist, sexist pig.' Depending on the outrage of the day … a passing 'that f***ing lunatic' with a shake of his head," Obama said of Trump, according to the book written by Atlantic staff writer Edward-Isaac Dovere.
"He's a madman," Obama allegedly told "big donors looking to squeeze a reaction out of him in exchange for the big checks they were writing to his foundation."
Dovere noted that Obama unleashed his strongest condemnation of Trump when he was "speaking to foreign leaders — including Vladimir Putin, amid the investigation of Russian election interference and links between Trump and Moscow — without any aides on the call," according to the Guardian
, which published excerpts of the book.
"'That corrupt motherf***er," Obama allegedly said of Trump for holding phone calls with the Russian president without aides on the line, according to the book that will debut next week.
Dovere claims that during the 2016 Republican primary, Obama originally preferred Trump to be the GOP presidential nominee because he saw him as a weaker presidential candidate than Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). "Trump was nowhere near as clever as the hard-right Texas senator, the runner-up in the Republican primary in 2016," the Guardian reported of Dovere's book.