TOPLINE In a recorded private call to hundreds of former members of his administration obtained by Yahoo News, President Barack Obama criticized the Justice Department’s move to drop charges against President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, as well as the government’s response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks on the stage as he attends an Obama Foundation event in … [+] Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 13 December 2019. Obama and his wife Michelle are in Kuala Lumpur for the inaugural Leaders: Asia-Pacific conference, focused on promoting women’s education in the region. (Photo by Zahim Mohd/NurPhoto via Getty Images) NurPhoto via Getty Images KEY FACTS During the FBI’s investigation into Russian election interference and possible collusion, Flynn plead guilty of lying to the agency in 2017 over conversations he held with former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak among other false statements, but on Thursday, attorney general William Barr approved the decision to drop the case, with filings calling the interviews “untethered” to the investigation. “There is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free,” Obama said, though, perjury is not the charge. “That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that basic—not just institutional norms—but our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk.” The New York Times independently verified the conversation, with one attendee saying Obama was in “quite the mood.” Obama addressed the upcoming election—the president endorsed his former Vice President Joe Biden—saying “This election that’s coming up on every level is so important because…what we’re fighting against is these long-term trends in which being selfish, being tribal, being divided and seeing others as an enemy, that has become a stronger impulse in American life.” He linked that sentiment to the response to the pandemic, saying “It would have been bad even with the best of governments, it has been an absolute chaotic disaster when that mindset of ‘what’s in it for me’ and ‘to heck with everybody else,’ when that mindset is operationalized in our government.” While Trump used
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