Obama Says Trump’s Behavior as President Didn’t Surprise Him: ‘He’s Not Considered a Serious Guy’

Barack Obama may have been surprised that Donald Trump was elected in 2016, but he wasn’t shocked by his behavior as president. Obama revealed as much during the most recent episode of the “SmartLess” podcast.

“Trump didn’t surprise me. He comes from New York. There’s not anybody in New York who will do business with him or lend money to him. He’s not considered a serious guy,” Obama said in an episode that dropped Monday.

Whether intentional or not, the assessment is an echo of one of the most memorable lines from HBO’s corporate dramedy hit, “Succession.” In Season 4, Logan Roy (Brian Cox) declared his children to be “not serious people” after a heated conversation about potentially selling the family company.

Both Obama and former President Bill Clinton’s opinions about Trump came out later in the podcast when they discussed their favorite parts of the job. While Obama pointed to the concerts he was known for hosting, Clinton joked that he missed being introduced by music and praised the job itself.

“What I learned was, on the worst day, when nothing was going right — problems were everywhere — there was still something you can do to make somebody’s life better. There is no job like that on Earth,” Clinton said, using his answer to praise Biden.

“I want somebody that I can trust to make the most of that every day. Because there will be bad days, no matter who gets elected,” Clinton said. “[Biden] will get up, and he’ll start thinking about that. But his opponent will be thinking about—”

“Himself,” Obama interjected.

“And who he can get even with,” Clinton continued. “Joe Biden will make the best of the bad days.”

The 44th president also revealed that he was more surprised about the lack of “guardrails” around the Republican Party than Trump’s actual behavior. Obama said he noticed this trend starting during Clinton’s presidency, but that it “accelerated” while he was in office.

“I did expect — and I expect that Bill and Joe, you would agree with this — that there would be some folks in the Republican Party who would say, ‘No, you can’t go that far. You can’t start praising Putin and saying that his intelligence is better than the U.S. intelligence agencies,'” Obama said.

“SmartLess” broke its no repeat guests rule on Monday to interview Joe Biden once again alongside new guests Clinton and Obama. The “SmartLess” podcast, which debuted in 2020, is hosted by Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett.

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