In an interview with CNN's Don Lemon Sunday, Guardian bureau chief David Smith detailed the three things he thinks that cause President Donald Trump's obsession with former President Barack Obama.
Touting a report Smith authored about the three things Trump seems so obsessed with, Lemon noted that it has never been clearer that Trump can't quit Obama. In fact, while he was speaking to Smith, Trump was blowing up Twitter with more attacks on what he calls "Obamagate" but still won't explain what exactly the scandal is.
"I think obsession is the right word," said Smith. "It's a personal inferiority complex that's been going on for many years. People I talked to for this story really outlines three main reasons."
First, he said was envy. Trump is jealous of Obama's inauguration crowd size, Twitter following, jealous of his Nobel Peace Prize, and resentful of the respect that Obama earned from Americans. Trump, who tends to lie about his height, weight and hand size may even be jealous of Obama's slender and athletic physique, his large hands that can palm a basketball and Obama's height which appears to be an effortless 6'1". Trump, by contrast, claims he is 6'3" but photos of him next to people known for being that height shows he's shorter.
Smith cited former Obama national security aide Ben Rhodes, who tweeted this week: “Trump’s fact-free fixation on Obama dating back to birtherism is so absurd and stupid that it would be comic if it wasn’t so tragic.”
His second reason for hating Obama is really about vengeance.
"At that White House Correspondent's Dinner where Obama mocks Trump, who had to sit in the room looking stone-faced and furious, it was a mock-up of what a White House would look like on the job," Smith continued. He explained that Trump is worst at self-deprecation. He simply has no humor about himself. So, when others poke fun at him as Obama did at the correspondent's event, Trump's birtherism turned from racism into a rage.
"And the racist element," Smith continued, "Trump was pushing to the birther conspiracy theory suggesting that Obama was not born in the United States. So, it's almost come full circle again with Obama again."
He went on to say that he thinks the attacks on Obama are simply another way to distract from Trump's own failures at handling the coronavirus and leading the economy into the worst depression since the Great Depression.
Watch the full interview below and read Smith's column at The Guardian.