May 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

McConnell calls Obama's criticism of Trump "classless"

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at the U.S. Capitol on Monday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said during an online Trump campaign event Monday former President Obama should have "kept his mouth shut" on President Trump's response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: Obama has rarely commented on Trump since leaving office, but he has begun to speak out on the president and his administration's policies. McConnell noted former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush "kept their mouths shut" on successors because they deemed it inappropriate to comment on other presidents.

What he's saying: "I think President Obama should have kept his mouth shut. You know, we know he doesn't like much this administration is doing, that's understandable," McConnell said to Trump campaign adviser Lara Trump, who is the president's daughter-in-law.

  • "But I think it's a little bit classless frankly to critique an administration that comes after you. You had your shot. You were there for eight years."
"I think the tradition that the Bushes set up of not critiquing the president who comes after you is a good tradition."
— McConnell's remarks to Lara Trump

The big picture: Obama began speaking out on Trump administration policies in April, when he tweeted the U.S. is still waiting for a "coherent national plan" to manage the pandemic.

  • In comments leaked to Yahoo News Friday he called Trump's handling of the pandemic a "chaotic disaster" and said the "rule of law is at risk" over the Justice Department's dropping of charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
  • Trump addressed the leaked comments during a tweetstorm on matters including Russia and his predecessor's administration Sunday evening, retweeting a conservative criticizing Obama for his leaked remarks. "He got caught, OBAMAGATE!" Trump said in his retweet. He's repeatedly accused Obama of committing a crime, though he didn't elaborate on his claim during a news briefing Monday.

Go deeper

Minneapolis will ban police chokeholds following George Floyd's death

A memorial for George Floyd at the site of his death in Minneapolis. Photo: Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Minneapolis has agreed to ban the use of police chokeholds and will require nearby officers to act to stop them in the wake of George Floyd's death, AP reports.

Why it matters: The agreement between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which has launched an investigation into Floyd's death while in police custody, will be enforceable in court.

Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market

Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Axios

The S&P 500 jumped nearly 3% on Friday after a stronger-than-expected May jobs report showed that an economic recovery could be underway.

The state of play: Stocks have rallied since the worst of the coronavirus sell-off ended in late March and looked past a spate of ugly economic reports — not to mention civil unrest.

The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut

Adam Hansmann (left) and Alex Mather (right), co-founders of The Athletic. Photo: Steph Gray, courtesy of The Athletic

The Athletic is laying off nearly 8% of staff, 46 people, according to an internal memo obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: It's the latest media company that's been been forced to take drastic measures to survive the economic fallout from the coronavirus. Like many sports media outlets, The Athletic has been particularly impacted by the loss of live sports.