President Barack Obama spoke passionately against the rise of populist politics and authoritarian leadership, just a day after President Donald Trump’s disastrous news conference with Vladimir Putin.
While he never mentioned Trump by name, many of Obama’s statements seemed to reference his successor's administration.
“Unfortunately, too much of politics today seems to reject the very concept of objective truth,” he said in the Tuesday lecture, part of a ceremony honoring the late Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa. "People just make stuff up."
The speech was one of Obama's first high-profile appearances since leaving office. Back in the U.S., his successor was scrambling to correct the record after telling reporters just a day earlier he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin's denial of Russian interference in the 2016 election — despite reports to the contrary from several American intelligence agencies.