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Could former US President Barack Obama take on Donald Trump?
The former US President has taken the unprecedented step of breaking his silence to strongly criticise his successor Donald Trump.
Just ten days after Mr Obama left the White House, he publicly attacked Mr Trump’s ban on travellers from seven terror-prone countries.
His spokesman said: “The [former] President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.”
He added that Mr Obama was heartened by peaceful protests against the ban, which were “exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake”.
Will Barack Obama take on Donald Trump?
The strongly-worded statement from Mr Obama indicates that he is willing to take on Mr Trump when he believes American values are under threat.
Before the US election, Mr Obama graciously welcomed Mr Trump to the White House and stressed the importance of a smooth transition of power.
Two days before Mr Trump’s inauguration, Mr Obama told reporters that he would comment his actions only at “certain moments where I think our core values may be at stake”.
But there have been signs that Mr Obama was planning to use his political influence and support campaigning after leaving office.
His farewell address called for Americans to remain vigilant against external aggression and a “weakening” of American values.
In an interview with the New Yorker, he hinted that he would help the Democratic Party to rebuild after Hillary Clinton’s crushing election defeat.
Mr Obama said that he had some responsibility to at least “offer counsel” on how to rebuild the party and work with progressive organisations.
Barack Obama in pictures
Thu, November 24, 2016
Barack Obama, President of the United States in pictures
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U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama serve Thanksgiving dinner to residents of AFRH in Washington
Will Barack Obama come back as President?
Mr Obama has ruled out himself or his wife Michelle Obama ever standing for the job of US President in the future.
Instead of trying to return to the White House, he said that the couple want to help the ‘next’ Barack and Michelle Obama.
“I think both Michelle and I are interested in creating platforms that train, empower, network, boost the next generation of leadership,” he told the New Yorker.
This suggests that Mr Obama could be planning to return to grassroots activism – something that he engaged in long before he became US President.
Mr Obama was once a community organiser in Altgeld Gardens public housing project on the South Side of Chicago during the 1980s.
He remains committed to Mr Brother’s Keeper Alliance, an initiative that works to improve the lives of poor black and Latino boys.