President Barack Obama has made his first post-White House remarks, denouncing his successor's executive order in a public show of support for those demonstrating against his policies.
Following a weekend of protests at airports around the country following President Trump’s ban on travelers from seven predominantly Muslim nations, Obama’s office released a statement saying: “American values are at stake.”
A spokesperson for the 44th president said Obama is encouraged by the protesters who took to the airports to object to the order.
Kevin Lewis said Obama is “is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country,” in a statement Monday.
He added: "Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake."
Obama and his wife, Michelle, have been on vacation since leaving the White House on January 20. The couple was in the British Virgin Islands last week.
On Sunday, Trump defended his actions, saying in a Facebook post: “We will keep it free and keep it safe, as the media knows, but refuses to say. My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months. The seven countries named in the Executive Order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror. To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting.”
Lewis rebutted that statement on Monday, saying: “With regard to comparisons to President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, as we’ve heard before, the president fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.”