Barack Obama on Trump's Election Fraud Claims: "There Is No Legal Basis"

Barack Obama - Serious 2- Getty -H 2020
CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images

Joining Gayle King on 'CBS Sunday Morning,' the former president explained that he finds it "disappointing" that Republican leaders have yet to challenge Trump's claims.

Former President Barack Obama joined Gayle King on CBS Sunday Morning, where he reflected on his time in the Oval Office, teased his upcoming memoir and reacted to the election that resulted in Joe Biden being declared the president-elect.

King noted that though Biden was declared the president-elect, "72 million people voted for Donald Trump." When asked what the percentage of votes for Trump means for the "state of this country," Obama replied, "Well, what it says is that we are still deeply divided."

Following the election results, Trump has continued to make repeated claims that there were fraudulent votes in the 2020 presidential contest.

"Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States and Kamala Harris will be the next vice president of the United States. There is no legal basis," he argued. "The power of that alternative worldview that's presented in the media that those voters consume, it carries a lot of weight."

He added, "It's very hard for our democracy to function if we are operating on just completely different sets of facts."

With Republican leaders staying silent and refusing to challenge the president's claims, Obama admits he finds the response "disappointing. … But it's been sort of par for the course during these four years. They obviously didn't think there was any fraud going on, because they didn't say anything for the first two days," he said.

Obama went on to reflect on the peaceful transition of power he experienced with former President George W. Bush and John McCain, as well as inviting Trump to the White House after he was elected in 2016.

"He does not seem to have taken a page out of any of those playbooks," King added, to which Obama laughed and simply said, "No."

King mentioned that Trump has "often raises eyebrows" anytime he declares that he's "done more for Black America and people of color than Abraham Lincoln."

"Yes," Obama said, laughing. "Yes, it does raise eyebrows, you are correct."

When King pressed whether Obama takes "insult" with Trump's statement, he disagreed. "I think it's fair to say that there are many things he says that I do not take personally or seriously, although I think they can often be destructive and harmful," he replied.

Despite Trump being Obama's successor, the former president hasn't shied away from criticizing Trump while speaking at rallies during Biden's campaign trail.

"They called it 'Barack Obama unleashed.' Was it personal for you? Or did you just think, 'I've had it'?," King asked. Emphasizing that his comments about Trump were not personal, Obama said he was "just stating facts."

"I was not the person who at a White House briefing room, said, 'Is bleach the way to solve COVID?' I wasn't doing a routine. I was repeating words that I heard," he explained.

Despite showing support for his former vice president, Obama explained that while he normally doesn't prefer to "be out there," he felt there were circumstances in this election "in which certain norms, certain institutional values that are so extraordinarily important, had been breached. … That it was important for me, as somebody who had served in that office, to simply let people know, 'This is not normal.'"

As for what advice he'd give Biden when he begins his presidential term, Obama assured King that the president-elect "doesn't need my advice.

"I will help him in any ways that I can. But now, you know, I'm not planning to suddenly work on the White House staff or something," he said.

After King asked whether Obama would have a Cabinet position, he laughed and noted: "There are probably some things I would not be doing, because Michelle would leave me. She'd be like, 'What? You're doing what?'"

Watch the full interview below.