- REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
President Barack Obama couldn’t seem to contain his amusement when asked whether he wanted to defend his legacy against a slew of Donald Trump’s insults.
During a press conference in Laos, a reporter asked Obama whether he wanted to “defend his legacy” against the Republican presidential nominee’s claims that Russian President Vladimir Putin was “more of a leader” than Obama, and that Obama had “reduced American generals to rubble.”
“Do I care to defend – OK, OK, respond, got it,” Obama said, chuckling.
The president reiterated that he believes Trump holds “contradictory, uninformed, or outright wacky” policy opinions, and that he is unqualified to handle the responsibilities of the presidency. Obama also cautioned that voters and reporters could be normalizing Trump’s inflammatory statements.
“Every time he speaks, that opinion is confirmed,” Obama said.
He added: “Somehow behavior that in normal times we’d consider completely unacceptable is normalized and people start thinking we should be grading on a curve.”
Obama’s reaction to Trump’s attack on his legacy comes as the real-estate magnate has attempted to contrast his foreign-policy vision with Obama’s in relentless, often creative ways. In August, Trump said Obama was the “founder of ISIS” and has occasionally argued both that Obama did not do enough to stop the terrorist organization in Syria and that the Middle East would be safer if Obama had not intervened at all.