Former President Barack Obama says his successor in office, Donald Trump, violated a core tenet of democracy when he made up a "bunch of hooey" about last year's election and refused to concede.
Speaking Monday at his first virtual fundraiser since the 2020 election, Obama, a Democrat, said Republican Trump's claims undermined the legitimacy of U.S. elections and helped lead to other anti-democratic measures such as efforts to suppress the vote.
"What we saw was my successor, the former president, violate that core tenet that you count the votes and then declare a winner - and fabricate and make up a whole bunch of hooey," Obama said.
"What's been called 'the big lie' suddenly gains momentum," which in turn has fueled moves by Republican-controlled legislatures to reduce access to voting and gain more control over voting operations, Obama said.
"Here's the bottom line. If we don't stop these kinds of efforts now, what we are going to see is more and more contested elections ... We are going to see a further de-legitimizing of our democracy," he said, as well as "a breakdown of the basic agreement that has held this magnificent democratic experiment together all these years."
Republican governors of Georgia, Arizona, Florida, and Iowa have signed new voting rules into law this year, and state legislatures in Pennsylvania and Texas are trying to advance similar measures. These states will be battlegrounds in the 2022 midterm elections that will determine control of Congress.
The U.S. Justice Department on Friday sued to block the Georgia law.
Obama said he believed the U.S. Senate will hold a new vote on a Democrat-backed voting rights bill that Republicans blocked last week.
The fundraising call was for the National Democratic Redistricting Committee as the United States heads into the once-a-decade redrawing of congressional districts that will play a critical role in determining whether Democrats keep control of the House of Representatives next year. History and redistricting suggests they are likely to fail.
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