Greg Hinz, who covered the event for Crain’s Chicago Business, called Obama’s remarks “jaw-dropping.” He also caught the thinly veiled connection to the present commander-in-chief, noting on Twitter regarding Obama’s statements, “Take that, @realDonaldTrump”:
Obama’s comments came during an onstage chat with Ariel Investments President Mellody Hobson at the Economic Club of Chicago, Hinz said.
After Obama noted a nativist lack of trust that has swept around the globe of late, Hinz said the former president brought up the necessity of a free press in order to preserve American democracy.
Obama noted 1930s Germany and Hitler’s rise to power, Hinz reported, adding that Obama said, “Sixty million people died” — presumably a reference to the carnage of World War II that followed.
Instead they all were deeply critical of the former president, calling him a “charlatan,” a “fascist” and a “Marxist.”