Other than the attempted coup, Obama had most scandal-free presidency in history

A press release put out by the Barack Obama Presidential Library touted an opening of a new wing, dedicated to the U.S. Constitution, and included a brief statement by our former President. "I'm enjoying my retirement, and watching the heads spin in Washington in response to the Trump administration. Other than the attempted coup, my presidency was the most scandal-free in the history of the country, and I am proud of all the things we were able to accomplish just using a pen and a phone," he said.

His statement was an addendum to his previous comments that his presidency was entirely scandal-free, as reported by the media when he left office (see https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/01/19/has-the-obama-white-house-been-historically-free-of-scandal/?utm_term=.258502aaf01c and https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/barack-obama-scandal-legacy_us_5875a0fce4b05b7a465c67ed).

We asked Mr. Obama to clarify what he meant by the "attempted coup" and had a brief conversation with the former president. It is reprinted below, verbatim.

ACTON FORUM: Thank you, Mr. President, for taking the time to speak with us. We had a follow-up question related to the "attempted coup" remark in your statement and would like you to clarify what you meant.

BARACK OBAMA: Another question on the coup? I'm getting really sick and tired or rehashing old news. We have covered this before, can we move on?

ACTON FORUM: I'm sorry if I offended you, Mr. President, but I really don't understand what you are talking about.

BARACK OBAMA: You've got to keep up with your current events. This was the plan Eric Holder and then Loretta Lynch told me about to help Hillary Clinton succeed me. We had the Justice Department, the FBI, the CIA, and even the remaining Castro brother in on this. Unfortunately, we failed, and that stain on my presidency remains forever.

ACTON FORUM: The stain of violating the Constitution and trying to overturn the will of the people?

BARACK OBAMA: No, the stain of getting caught. I was pretty used to being treated with kid gloves for eight years, but once Trump got in office, everything changed. So I'm just sorry Hillary wasn't successful at protecting my legacy.

ACTON FORUM: But as a Constitutional scholar and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, surely you see the irony in trying to engineer a coup? After all, isn't a belief in our democratic process vitally important to all citizens?

BARACK OBAMA: Three important points. First, Hillary won the popular vote. Second, she beat Bernie Sanders. Third, it was her turn. Besides that, with all the dirt we had on Trump, voters made a very poor choice in casting their ballot for that charlatan from New York. Ahh, I'm referring to Donald Trump, not Secretary Clinton. Remember, Hillary was the second most qualified candidate for President in history.

ACTON FORUM: Besides George Washington?

BARACK OBAMA: OK, the third most qualified.

ACTON FORUM: Getting back to this attempted coup, was this something you were personally involved with?

BARACK OBAMA: Yes and no. I was known as a hands-on manager, some even called me a micro-manager. It's hard not to jump in and take charge when you are the smartest, most competent guy in the room if not the City. But after getting all the details from Holder and Lynch, we decided that those meetings had never taken place and I became a delegator. So yes, I knew all about it and no, I had nothing to do with it.

ACTON FORUM: So besides the attempted coup, which involved the bugging of Donald Trump when he was a candidate and the false cover story that the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia to steal the election, what about the IRS targeting of pro-Israel and Tea-party groups? Some would consider that a scandal as well. Do you disagree?

BARACK OBAMA: No, those are scandals, but I put them all under the "coup" umbrella. Granted, it's a big umbrella. It would include the manipulation of the Hillary Clinton private server investigation, the coverup of her dissemination of top-secret classified material to foreign governments and the quashing of that investigation, the coverup of Bengazi until after the election and how that weakened the U.S. overseas, the red line we failed to enforce in Syria, and the Iran nuclear deal, including the payment of $400 million in cash to free hostages. All of that goes under "attempted coup."

And the reason for that is because if the American people knew about our immoral, double-dealing, lying, "making America weak again" strategy, Hillary would never have stood a chance in the first place. She was part of my administration and she egged me on, or worse, for several years. So the coup really started way back when, and the FBI bugging was just the logical extension of all that. So it's just one scandal, don't try to make it out to be more than it was. A single scandal. Clearly that makes me the president with the fewest scandals in history.

ACTON FORUM: Some conservatives feel that it was a scandal that when you were running for re-election, you purposely misspoke about the cost, the reach, and the workings of the Affordable Care Act, which some call Obamacare...

BARACK OBAMA: Obamacare, yes, I embrace that label. Best thing I ever did. My most proud achievement and success.

ACTON FORUM: But the conservatives say that the passage of it, and even your re-election, was based on lies to the American public. How do you react to that, and wasn't that really just another scandal?

BARACK OBAMA: That was all in my first term. As I get older, my memory gets a little hazy and fuzzy (laughs). I simply don't recall telling any lies or even any exaggerations. All I know is that under Obamacare, more Americans were covered by expensive health insurance with unaffordable deductibles than ever before. And I'm proud of that legacy.

ACTON FORUM: Last question, Mr. President. Knowing what you know now, would you do it all over again?

BARACK OBAMA: If I could wave a magic wand and turn back time, I would be a lot more attentive and assertive when my generals and admirals offered me other alternatives rather than relying on Hillary Clinton to preserve my legacy and all the important programs I created to help Americans all across the land. I put all my eggs in the Clinton basket, but I should never have trusted that...well, I don't want to say the word, but it rhymes with "witch."

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