Obama Speech Strikes Out At Trump

Obama heads a nonprofit: Organizing for Action, designed to sow discord
Obama heads a nonprofit: Organizing for Action, designed to sow discord

Former US President Barack Obama reflected on the "strange and uncertain times" of the world in a speech to honor Nelson Mandela on Tuesday, a day after his successor, Donald Trump, upbraided the US in a news conference with Vladimir Putin.

In a lecture at the cavernous Wanderers Cricket Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Obama told some 15,000 people that the chaos of the world gave him the opportunity to seek perspective, reports CNN.

"But in the strange and uncertain times that we are in – and they are strange, and they are uncertain, with each day's news cycles bringing more head spinning and disturbing headlines – I thought maybe it would be useful to step back for a moment and try to get some perspective, so I hope you'll indulge me," he said, as he launched into his speech.

Obama has made an art of criticizing the current President's values without explicitly naming Trump. His speech follows a news conference in Helsinki, Finland, on Monday, in which Trump sided with Putin over his own country's intelligence agencies on whether Russia interfered in the 2016 US election.

Obama makes the 16th annual Nelson Mandela Lecture ahead of Mandela Day on Wednesday, in one of his highest-profile speeches and his first return to Africa since he left office in 2017.

His lecture, titled "Renewing the Mandela legacy and promoting active citizenship in a changing world," tracks the transformation of the world, particularly in terms of race relations and human rights, over the past 100 years. "It is a plain fact that racial discrimination still exists in both the United States and South Africa," he said.

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