The ex-President revealed he was deeply concerned about the state of America since he stepped down in January this year.
The frank assessment was given to two friends early last November, as Mr Obama described an election night phone call in which Mr Trump professed his “respect” and “admiration” for the former President — after years of badgering him.
Mr Obama was highly critical of his successor during the 2016 campaign, labelling him “unfit”, “woefully unprepared” and “unacceptable” for the White House.
Barack Obama and Donald Trump have a tumultuous relationship
Obama criticised Trump as unfit to be president
As for the former first lady, she also savaged Mr Trump ahead of the election last fall – joking to visitors last December about needing mourning attire that she would call “the black series.”
In an interview with People magazine in the US, when asked if Mr Obama’s opinion has changed since the billionaire businessman assumed power, one of the sources said: “Well, it hasn’t gotten any better.”
And a third source close to the Obama family told the magazine that he is “deeply concerned with what he’s seen”.
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
But they added: “But he’s also optimistic and heartened that citizens aren’t just watching it happen but engaging with neighbours and elected representatives at town halls.”
The former president has been more kind since Mr Trump took office this year however.
Mr Obama was highly critical of his successor during the 2016 campaign
His former adviser David Axelrod told People: “He’s very respectful of the appropriate role of a former president and that ex-presidents should not be looking over the shoulder of their successors and commenting on every decision.
“President Obama’s predecessor didn’t do that. Obviously, this now is a unique set of circumstances, but my sense is that he’s going to try and respect that tradition while reserving the right to speak out in given moments when things rise to that level.”