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Trump never took presidency ‘seriously’, says Obama

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Barack Obama will use his Democratic convention speech Wednesday to brand President Donald Trump as someone who never took his office seriously, putting US democracy in danger.

Obama said that on handing over the White House to Trump in 2017, he thought the Republican “might show some interest in taking the job seriously; that he might come to feel the weight of the office and discover some reverence for the democracy that had been placed in his care”.

“But he never did,” Obama said, according to excerpts of his speech released early.

As a result, Trump has left America’s “worst impulses unleashed, our proud reputation around the world badly diminished, and our democratic institutions threatened like never before”, Obama said.

The speech – due later in the evening when Senator Kamala Harris formally accepts the nomination to be Joe Biden’s running mate and the first black woman on a major party ticket – is one of the highlights of the Democratic convention running until Thursday.

“Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country,” she said.

“He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head.

“He cannot meet at this moment.”

Tuesday’s line-up featured two former presidents – 95-year-old Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, 74, who warned that the Trump White House is swirling with chaos instead of the competence necessary to address the nation’s crises.

“At a time like this, the Oval Office should be a command center. Instead, it’s a storm center,” Clinton said.

Biden, 77, the former Delaware senator who served as Obama’s vice-president for eight years, was officially nominated on Tuesday to take on Trump in the Nov 3 election.

Ahead in the polls, he will deliver an acceptance speech on Thursday at the conclusion of the four-day convention, which was to have been held in the battleground state of Wisconsin but was shifted to an online format because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Trump has chosen the White House South Lawn as the location for his acceptance speech – a controversial decision given that presidents are legally required to separate their campaigning from taxpayer-funded governing. Source: AFP

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